Additive manufacturing goes large - Aerospace prints bigger and better parts

IMechE | January 15, 2019

Additive manufacturing goes large - Aerospace prints bigger and better parts
Additive manufacturing creates objects in a painstaking, layer-by-layer process, building them up one micron at a time.
An ambitious new project has set its sights on making metal components that will be measured in meters rather than millimeters, but first, it must navigate what researchers call the valley of death. The Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing (OAAM) project will build three powerful AM machines to help convince companies to invest in the technology and to print larger metallic components ranging from plane landing gear to satellite fuel tanks.
“The scale of the machines that we are producing is far greater than what we have seen in the past,” says OAAM project manager Tom Pinto. “This is a very exciting project which will provide access to equipment that is at the forefront of what’s being developed. None of these machines exists. There are no blueprints for them.”

Spotlight

The U.S. manufacturing landscape is changing dramatically. Future markets will favor manufacturers that demonstrate responsible behavior with regard to energy usage, waste disposal, and recycling. To compete, future manufacturers must maximize economic value-add from intellectual and physical capital investments, operate as part of a larger ecosystem of linked environmentally responsible global customers, suppliers, and partners. True leaders of tomorrow will play a global leader in the innovation of novel products and solutions. The transition to sustainable manufacturing must be done in the context of increasingly complex manufacturing processes and connected processes and enterprises. Organizations that are cognizant of these trends and accordingly shape their strategies and execute their tactics will define the winners in the next decade.

Spotlight

The U.S. manufacturing landscape is changing dramatically. Future markets will favor manufacturers that demonstrate responsible behavior with regard to energy usage, waste disposal, and recycling. To compete, future manufacturers must maximize economic value-add from intellectual and physical capital investments, operate as part of a larger ecosystem of linked environmentally responsible global customers, suppliers, and partners. True leaders of tomorrow will play a global leader in the innovation of novel products and solutions. The transition to sustainable manufacturing must be done in the context of increasingly complex manufacturing processes and connected processes and enterprises. Organizations that are cognizant of these trends and accordingly shape their strategies and execute their tactics will define the winners in the next decade.

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