Fraunhofer and Concept Laser Partner for Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing

Big business is looking into new ways of adapting additive manufacturing (AM) to improve not only the design process, but the production process as well. In the aerospace industry, Airbus and Aerosud are developing large scale AM facilities to produce major components of aircraft (such as entire wings). Now the automotive industry has invested in large-scale AM.

The Fraunhofer Institute of Laser Technology has partnered with Concept Laser to produce a large-scale AM system at the behest of Daimler. This is a story I’ve been following for a while, but details have been sparse. Euromold 2012 provided a few missing puzzle pieces, which I can now share with confidence. Continue reading

Rapid Manufacturing Drives Production of Military Grade Light Aircraft

It’s no secret that additive manufacturing (AM) has been embraced by the aerospace industry. The relatively low cost and unique capabilities of AM are a natural fit for aircraft. We’ve covered a number of stories on the subject, and it doesn’t look as though the news will be slowing down any time soon.

South African company, Aerosud, with partner Paramount, is looking to move ahead in the military aircraft business by offering a light plane with military applications. The Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance and Surveillance (AHRLAC) is a manned vehicle that is meant to operate in the same sort of capacity as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Continue reading

South Africa to Launch Large Scale Additive Manufacturing Production

At this point in its development, most people consider AM only to be suitable for small parts or prototypes. With a few notable exceptions (such as the Urbee), this tends to be true. However, South African manufacturer AeroSud is thinking big.

With the aid of government investments, AeroSud has launched Project Aeroswift. The end goal of the project is to create an AM machine that is capable of printing out parts as large 6.5 ft. x 1.5 ft. The South African National Laser Center has pitched their aid to the project by creating a 5 kW IPG single-fiber diode laser to use in the laser sintering machine. The primary material used will be powdered titanium.

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