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Aerospace 3D Printing Service

3D printing is innovating to fulfill many of the needs of the aerospace design and manufacturing industry, particularly with the production of printed sand molds and cores for prototyping new designs.Elimold Advanced Manufacturing Services provides companies in the Aerospace Industry with 3D printing, prototyping, advanced tooling and production assistance.

Aerospace 3D printing technology

3D printed aerospace modules facilitate rapid prototyping and testing of machine components, thereby increasing operational efficiency and productivity. The process is also capable of producing lightweight parts in a variety of shapes and quantities without excessive material waste.
Additionally, 3D printing technology has proven to be a very effective and efficient manufacturing technology in the aerospace industry. 3D printers can help optimize the structure of complex parts. On the premise of ensuring performance, complex structures can be transformed and redesigned into simple structures, thereby reducing weight. Moreover, by optimizing the structure of the parts, the stress of the parts can be distributed in the most reasonable way, reducing the risk of fatigue cracks and thereby increasing the service life.

Benefits of 3D Printing in Aerospace

Additive manufacturing plays a pivotal role in addressing critical challenges faced by the aerospace industry, offering numerous advantages.

Sustainability and Energy Conservation

3D printing enables the production of lighter parts by utilizing lightweight materials, such as polymers instead of metals. Optimized design methods, like generative and topological approaches, further contribute to reducing overall weight, resulting in lower fuel consumption for flight vehicles.

Spare Part Availability​

Legacy aircraft programs, both in commercial and defense sectors, face increased costs as parts become obsolete and replacements are sought. Aerospace additive manufacturing services offer an efficient solution by enabling on-demand production of parts, eliminating the need for excessive inventory and addressing long-term use concerns.

Durable and Lightweight Materials​

Stratasys materials cater to a diverse range of aerospace application requirements. Engineering thermoplastics and carbon-filled materials address prototyping and strong tooling needs, while high-performance polymers like ULTEM™ resins meet rigorous physical and mechanical criteria for flight-worthy components. Antero 840CN03 fulfills specific low-outgassing and electrostatic dissipative requirements crucial for spacecraft.

Speed of Innovation and Production​

The aviation and defense industry has faced challenges in meeting projected timelines. The benefits of 3D printing in aerospace play a vital role in streamlining development programs, reducing cycle times, and accelerating time-to-market for new products.

3D Metal Printing for the Aerospace Industry

Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS®) is perfectly suited for 3D metal printing of aerospace and UAV parts. Manufacturing aircraft parts with 3D printing enables our clients to adhere to strict thermal, weight reduction and complex part requirements. Using 3D metal printing in the aerospace industry is also beneficial, as this type of printing holds tolerances off the printer as tight as +/- .002 and prints densities above 99%. This makes tighter tolerance and post-process requirements easily achievable. Our most popular metals used in the 3D printing of aircraft parts and UAV components are Inconel, Haynes, Monel K (thermal properties), aluminum (thermal and weight advantages), and titanium (weight and strength).

Aerospace 3D Printing Applications

Our 3D printing processes are most leveraged throughout the prototyping process for aerospace applications but can also be used for part consolidation and end-use production. 3D printing is often used for varied aerospace components including:

  • Jet engines
  • Fixtures and jigs
  • Brackets
  • Turbine blades
  • Ducting systems
  • Engine exhaust systems
  • Heat exchangers
  • Manifolds
  • Turbo pumps
  • Liquid and gas flow components
  • Fuel nozzles
  • Conformal cooling channels
 
Aerospace 3D Printing Service

High-Performance 3D Printing Materials for Aerospace Applications

Elimold has an extensive library of proprietary 3D printing materials suitable for even the most demanding applications.

  • Technology:
    FDM
  • Potential Applications:  
    – Production tooling
    – End-use parts
    – Tough prototypes
  •  Overview:
    The semi-crystalline nature of this polyamide provides an aesthetic luster and great chemical resistance to both acids and alkali-based solvents. This is a great choice for manufacturers and product development engineers across a wide variety of industries from consumer products to automotive component testing. 
  • Technology:
    – FDM
  • Potential Applications:  
    – High-fatigue endurance
    – Repetitive snap fits
    – Friction-fit inserts
  •  Overview:
    FDM Nylon 12 is the same tough nylon material popular in traditional manufacturing for its superb price-performance. You can create advanced prototypes and custom tooling for applications that demand high fatigue resistance — with clean, hassle-free FDM technology.
  • Technology:
    – FDM
  • Potential Applications:  
    – Advanced functional prototypes 
    – Production parts 
    – Manufacturing tools and patterns 
  •  Overview:
    ULTEM 1010’s outstanding strength and thermal stability make it ideal for advanced tooling and prototyping applications in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and food-production industries. 
  • Technology:
    – FDM
  • Potential Applications:  
    – Advanced functional prototypes 
    – Production parts 
    – Manufacturing tools and patterns 
  •  Overview:
    ULTEM 9085 is an FDM thermoplastic ideal for aerospace, automotive, and military applications because of its FST rating, high strength-to-weight ratio, and existing certifications that make it superior in most categories.
  • Technology:
    POLYJET
  • Potential Applications:  
    – Design verification
    – Functional testing
    – Jigs & fixtures
    – Manufacturing tooling
  •  Overview:
    Digital ABS Plus is the most mechanically robust PolyJet digital material available. It combines temperature resistance with toughness and excellent impact strength.
  • Technology:
    – FDM
  • Potential Applications:  
    – Temporary pattern for hollow composite parts
  •  Overview:
    This material was designed to be used exclusively in sacrificial tooling applications where the ‘tool’ is simply washed away at the end of the forming or curing process that’s specifically tuned for dimensional accuracy and excellent surface finish.

TI6AL4V

  • Superior lightweighting capability due to high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Broad corrosion resistance
  • Biocompatible

Potential applications:
– Flight-critical aerospace components
– Racing and motorsports
– Marine components
– Implants and prosthetics

Alloy 718

  • Nickel-based superalloy
  • Formulated for demanding high-heat and high-pressure applications
  • Maintains mechanical properties through wide temperature range
  • Excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance

Potential applications:
– Turbomachinery
– Rocket engines
– Racing and motorsports
– Gas turbines

F357

  • Beryllium-free aluminum-silicon alloy
  • Lightweight, functional alloy that is easily post-processed
  • High weight-to-strength ratio
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Weldable, heat-treatable, and able to be anodized

Potential applications:
– Heat transfer components
– Flight-critical aerospace components
– Racing and motorsports

X Alloy

  • Ultra-high-temperature nickel-based superalloy
  • Exceptional combination of oxidation resistance and high-temperature strength
  • Extremely resistant to stress-corrosion cracking

Potential applications:
– Gas turbines
– Rocket engines
– Petrochemical processing

GRCop-42

  • A NASA developed Copper/Chromium/Niobium alloy
  • High-strength dispersion and high conductivity
  • Retains strength at high temperatures, can be printed at high density

Potential applications:
– Rocket engine components
– Fuel injector faces
– Combustion chamber linings

Why do Aerospace Companies Use Elimold?

Speed and reliability are key during the design, validation, and launch of aerospace components. Our 3D printing services support the industrial manufacturing of intricate and complex geometries to lightweight part designs or reduce the number of components in an assembly.

Advantages of Elimold 3D Printing for the Aerospace Industry:

  • Streamlined Certification: Our methodology and process specifications facilitate the certification of aeronautical parts.
  • Comprehensive Manufacturing Management: Our system ensures the complete traceability of equipment and raw materials.
  • No tooling required.
  • Consolidation of assemblies and minimizing the number of parts required.
  • Design freedom for complex geometries.
  • Enhanced weight efficiency.
  • Certified aerospace thermoplastics (FST – FAR 25.853).
  • Tailored machine park for aircraft interiors.

The Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry

The U.S. and Canada are witnessing an increasing adoption of 3D printing technologies in the aerospace industry. As a result, the North American region as a whole is projected to be the largest market for aerospace 3D printing. The increased demand for lightweight aircraft components integrates perfectly with the 3D printing industry as a whole in general. The introduction of Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A is only the beginning of where these applications are headed. We are expecting to see more applications for additive manufacturing because these parts are high quality, and the engineers can make changes quickly in accordance to customer requests. The accuracy, profitability, and inspection processes of 3D printing continues to increase with artificial intelligence, new printers, and improved software. As a result, it makes sense for more engineering and contract manufacturing companies to begin integrating this technology into their aerospace industry workflows.

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