Additive manufacturing (AM) is another in a series of technological frontiers in which the aerospace industry has been an early adopter. The aerospace industry continues to develop new applications that more deeply embed AM throughout its complete product lifecycle. For example, AM is used by many leading aerospace manufacturers to produce tooling for making composite parts.
The Stratasys white paper entitled “Additive Manufacturing Trends in Aerospace: Leading the Way” provides an overview on how nine leading aerospace companies are using AM in a wide spectrum of applications. The second of four excerpts from this paper explains how Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) — a company that repairs aircraft and performs low volume manufacturing — saves money by using AM to produce composite tooling.
AM really shines for hollow composite parts, such as a capsule for a remotely piloted vehicle. Wrapping composites around a soluble core made with AM eliminates tooling bucks and two-piece clamshell tooling. “For the repairs and short-volume production work that we specialize in, tooling often constitutes a major portion of the overall cost. Moving from traditional methods to producing composite tooling with Fused Deposition Modeling has helped us substantially improve our competitive position,” said Bruce Anning, ACS owner.
View or download the complete “Additive Manufacturing Trends in Aerospace: Leading the Way” white paper.
View the first excerpt previously posted here.