The aerospace additive manufacturing jetliner has taken off. This industrial segment largely skipped the prototyping “era” and jumped right into researching AM for part production. The advantages of weight optimization for any object that leaves the ground are such that the benefits from topology optimization and generative, optimized lattice geometries, made possible by AM, were crystal clear from the very beginning. This is even truer for objects that need to reach orbit, as the space vehicle manufacturing industry shapes up to become a giant industrial segment over the next ten to twenty years.

AM for aerospace has seen some serious growth in adoption over the past two years (since we began tracking this segment through our websites and in our market reports on aviation and space AM applications. In addition, the commercial and general aviation market is set to continue on its booming growth path over the next twenty years, driven by factors such as economic growth, rapidly expanding middle classes in emerging economies, liberalization of trade, and increasing tourism. All these elements will drive significant growth in aircraft demand.

Manufacturing of civil aircraft – that is planes for commercial and general aviation – has already emerged as the first industry sector where 3D printing is an established manufacturing modality.  Important new opportunities continue to emerge in this area in both metal AM and polymer AM, used for metal replacement and composites. Advancements in CAD, CAE, CAM and PLM software are driving the need for AM in general and commercial aviation manufacturing. More optimized, complex shapes and the need for a more automated production process make AM ideal for a growing number of production requirements.

In addition, the aerospace industry does not have to wait for new, higher speed AM technologies. The productivity offered by current polymer powder bed fusion and even thermoplastic filament extrusion systems – as well as metal powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition systems- is more than enough to satisfy the industry’s demands for short batch production. And the extensive range of high-performance materials now supported by these technologies is an ideal fit for many advanced flying parts. GE reported a few months ago that over 30,000 fuel nozzles had already been produced. That is just the beginning.

Keep following us, because during the next two weeks, as part of this AM Focus on Aerospace applications we will take you to see the latest news at the Paris Space and Aerospace Show (SIAE) at Salon Le Bourget, and then we will welcome you to our exclusive webinar with the aerospace additive manufacturing experts from Siemens, 3D Systems and Sciacky. You can register here. And we will see you there.

Latest aerospace additive manufacturing news:

GE Research gains access to ORNL supercomputer to optimize jet engines

GE Research announced it has been awarded access to the world’s top supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)…

5 days ago

Pratt & Whitney marks milestone with 3D printing for aircraft engine MRO

American aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and Singapore-based engineering company ST Engineering have announced the industrialization of a process for…

2 weeks ago

VELO3D and Honeywell Aerospace qualifying Sapphire 3D printer for aircraft parts

VELO3D has just announced a partnership with Honeywell Aerospace to qualify its Sapphire metal 3D printing system for the production…

2 weeks ago

STELIA Aerospace and Bombardier embark on AILE R&T project

France-based company STELIA Aerospace has announced a new research project in collaboration with Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier. The project, which…

2 weeks ago

3D printed ceramic fluid manifolds improve in-space bioprinting

Over 400 kilometers from Earth, advances are being achieved in the field of bioprinting. In November, the 3D BioFabrication Facility…

3 weeks ago

Scotland-based Skyrora tests 3D printed rocket engine and eco-fuel

Skyrora Ltd, an Edinburgh-based space company, has successfully tested a 3D printed rocket engine powered by an ecological liquid fuel…

3 weeks ago

El Paso researchers sending bioprinted mini hearts to ISS

Biomedical researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso are…

4 weeks ago

Additive manufacturing history in the making as Boeing 777X makes maiden flight with GE9X engines

Additive manufacturing history was made with the first flight of the Boeing 777X aircraft. That's because each of the two…

1 month ago

Mines students win $3K for 3D printed lunar rover wheel design

A team of students from the Colorado School of Mines was awarded a $3,000 prize for coming up with a…

1 month ago

Made In Space moves to new HQ in Jacksonville, Florida

Made In Space Inc., the company responsible for sending the first 3D printer to space, has announced it will be…

1 month ago