The aerospace industry has an extensive history of being an early adopter of new technology. Additive manufacturing fits accurately with this historical trend, and many leaders in the business are going all-in on 3D printing or additive manufacturing.
FREMONT, CA: With Industry 4.0 swaying, additive manufacturing is becoming ever more popular and disruptive in numerous industries, and aerospace is no exclusion. Compared to sectors, aerospace is one area that centers its focus on low-volume production of systems, which incorporates multifaceted electronic and mechanical components.
The aerospace industry has an extensive history of being an early adopter of new technology. Additive manufacturing fits accurately with this historical trend, and many leaders in the business are going all-in on 3D printing or additive manufacturing. 3D printing originally had a niche part in aerospace manufacturing as a technology for swift prototyping.
However, with new developments, it is becoming a strategic technology, which is expected to produce value throughout the supply chain. If one has not incorporated the applications, then now is the time to harmonize or replace the existing prototyping and manufacturing processes with additive manufacturing.
Reduced Component Counts and Increased Product Complication
The aerospace industry has already thrived in additively manufacturing mechanical segments with intricate geometries, and fewer part counts, eventually reducing the weight of finished parts. The decline in the overall weight of an aircraft decreases fuel consumption. Electronic components formed with additive manufacturing comprise RF antennas and amplifiers, sensor arrays, multilayer cable assemblies, and other specialized pieces with a unique functionality and form factor.
Ease of Workability and Reduced Waste
Some exotic metals form the foundation of most aerospace applications. These materials are difficult to work with in traditional processes. Yet, the materials are beginning to be integrated into additive manufacturing systems. The additive nature of 3D printing also considerably reduces waste compared to conventional subtractive processes. Even though materials used in additive processes are more costly, the concentrated material waste more than compensates for the material expenses. Going into the future, as more resource suppliers and a broader array of materials start becoming available in the market, overheads are expected to decline further while additive manufacturing tools increase.
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