Author Topic: 3D printing takes off with aeronautics & aerospace  (Read 84 times)

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Offline cadmodeling777

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3D printing takes off with aeronautics & aerospace
« on: August 04, 2018, 11:40:10 am »
If there is an industry using 3D printing on a broad spectrum it’s aeronautics & aerospace. From early stage project visualisation to prototyping to complete production, this industry is leading the way in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies.



Let’s study current use and future use of 3D printing in the aeronautics & aerospace industry by studying concrete examples, from proof of concept to mass production. We will finish with what remains to be done in 3D printing for tomorrow’s space rocket and aircraft.


If there is an industry using 3D printing on a broad spectrum it’s aeronautics & aerospace. From early stage project visualisation to prototyping to complete production, this industry is leading the way in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies.
Let’s study current use and future use of 3D printing in the aeronautics & aerospace industry by studying concrete examples, from proof of concept to mass production. We will finish with what remains to be done in 3D printing for tomorrow’s space rocket and aircraft.

The engine is packed with innovations and one of them is 3D printed fuel nozzles. These parts are injecting a mix of air and kerosene into the combustion chamber: the core of the engine with a 1700°C (3000°F) temperature (to understand how an engine works, have a look at this video). No need to say that this is a very critical part. Each engine has 19 nozzles which means that CFM is going to produce 45,000 3D printed nozzles a year! 3D printing is definitely moving from the Rapid Prototyping denomination to Additive Manufacturing.

The reason why CFM engineers moved to AM is that it allowed for a design that drastically improved the durability of the part by preventing fuel nozzle coking (accumulation of carbon deposit on the nozzles). The newly designed nozzle that was once made of 18 parts is now printed at once which also makes it 5 times stronger and 25% lighter.

The only remaining grey area is cost reduction. According to Greg Morris, business development manager of additive tech at GE Aviation, the story is “still being written,” and the complexity of 3D printing cost evaluation won’t be fully understood by the company until the early part of the next decade.


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While this article has been mainly focused on metal printing made in house by big companies, it makes no doubt that 3D printing is also widely used for prototyping iteration processes and small batches production in Nylon. Have a look at our aeronautics and aerospace page to see what can be done with plastic prototyping in A&A using vexmatech’s service!

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