Topic Track: Alternative Session Topic: Delivering Efficiencies in Certified 3D Printed Aerospace Parts
In the aerospace industry, the slightest design improvement can have a staggering impact on the efficiency of flight, which is why aerospace manufacturers dedicate tremendous time and talent to advanced engineering. Metro Aerospace has an ingenious microvane product design which delivers small 3D printed modifications to the exterior of cargo aircraft to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption by 4%.
Invention of the part was only the tip of the iceberg. The final SLS 3D printed microvanes by Metro Aerospace had to meet all of the rigorous standards outlined by the engineers who designed them, as well as undergo a First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) with thorough documentation, to prove traceability for FAA regulations.
Traceability, reliability, and repeatability are the core requirements of any mass manufacturing process. During this presentation, Leslie Peters will address the rigorous process Metro Aerospace undertook with its partner, 3D Systems, to efficiently move the microvanes from prototyping to production and deliver this new product in the highly regulated aerospace industry. Jim Davidson will highlight some of the advanced solutions used to streamline the inspection and reporting processes.
3D Systems is the originator of 3D printing and an innovator of future 3D solutions. It has spent its 30-year history enabling professionals and companies to optimize designs, transform workflows, bring groundbreaking products to market, and drive new business models. This is achieved with the Company’s best of breed digital manufacturing ecosystem. It’s comprised of plastic and metal 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and end-to-end manufacturing software solutions. Combinations of these products and services address a variety of advanced applications- ranging from Aerospaceans Automotive to Medical and Dental. 3D Systems’ precision healthcare capabilities include simulation, Virtual Surgical Planning, and printing of medical and dental devices as well as patient-specific surgical instruments.
Metro Aerospace LLC, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, holds the sole license to manufacture and supply globally Microvanes, a technology invented and patented by Lockheed Martin. Microvanes bring performance enhancement and cost reduction to military and commercial operators for the C-130/L-100/C-17, and other rear cargo airframes with similar steep aft-ramp design.
Metro Aerospace was established in 2016 by the founders of Catalyze Dallas, a venture development company specializing in creating value through the spin out of intellectual property, forming companies to target those assets into broad commercial markets.