When you think of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it’s more commonly known, there is a tendency to immediately think of plastic products. However, increasingly metals are being used in additive manufacturing processes and in the last few years metal 3D printing has gone from strength to strength.
In powder form, a variety of metals can be used in 3D printing processes enabling a whole host of components to be made more easily. Consumer products, aerospace components and medical aids are now being routinely produced using metal additive manufacturing processes. Continue reading
Back in 2014 we were talking about the experimental 3D printed joints being tested by the Airbus Group. The Rotite Fastener, was being tested on bicycles before being progressed into aircraft, but it was hoped that the technology could be developed and progressed into the aero industry making the attachment of electrical and mechanical components easier.
Additive manufacturing (the process of building components layer by layer) started off being used just for building prototype parts, but has now moved on to producing in flight components in the aero industry.
In March this year 3D printed parts got the go ahead from the FAA to be used in flight and as a result Boeing have used additive manufacturing to install over 20,000 non metallic 3D printed parts in their planes. They are using 3D printed parts in military and commercial aircraft. Continue reading
According to the experts, when people think of additive manufacturing, they usually think of 3D printing. However, whilst being an extremely innovative technology it does have its limitations in terms of size and the applications for which it can be used.
GE Global Research is working on an additive manufacturing method to address those limitations. Using a spray paint technique known as Cold Spray or 3D painting, the process builds upon metal surfaces. Metal powders are sprayed from a nozzle at high velocities to add material to metal objects. During the Cold Spray process, a strong bond is created and only a minimal amount of heat is transferred. As a result, the process is safer than welding and still results in a durable end product.