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3D printing put to good use


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#1 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 05:33 PM

3D printing gives much possibilities to reconstruct old parts, which in other ways could be bit unfeasible to manufacture, like cast parts.

 

 

Here is an article about one printer manufacturer making a decent publicity stunt:

 

Renishaw uses 3D printing to help restore Hawker Typhoon aircraft, the engineering technologies company printed four sets of unusual cockpit brackets using original drawings from 1938.


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#2 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 04:05 PM

Another company is making jet engines with the same process:

 

http://www.tctmagazi...-research-with/

 

I had a project some time ago in which we evaluated use of 3d-printed metal part, eventually it was deemed financially unfeasible (IMO for wrong reasons, the management of my current job is much more interested in saving pennies than making something in sensible way), anyway,I had discussions with representatives of 3d-printing company and they said that the printed metal part is not brittle and it can be welded, having better properties than average cast part.


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#3 F7Ftigercatlover

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 06:34 PM

3D printing makes me very hopeful for the future of warbirds. With 3D printing you can make parts that are either very expensive or extremely hard to find quickly and accurately.


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#4 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 07:12 PM

3D printing makes me very hopeful for the future of warbirds. With 3D printing you can make parts that are either very expensive or extremely hard to find quickly and accurately.

 And you have the possibility to make something first out of plastic and test out if you have not built the whole plane in 3D. Making the plastic part is some 10% of the price of the metal printed one.


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#5 Armand

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 09:13 PM

Sorry, but i do have to say this:
The sheer possibility of 3D printning is amazing. However, as a traditional skilled craftsman from the iron branch I can't share the excitement of 3D printning saving the world. Actual I find it being overly promoted by IT employees who have experienced the joy of actually having created something physical.
My proffessional opinion is that the shown bracket likewise could have been milled out of a block of metal by a CAM operated milling machine and the job of milling away material due to a machining code made by a designer is quite like the coding of a printer to build up the bracket by adding material, however the engineer and tech-designers, of wich millions create likely objects every day world wide, dont find the need to publish their achievements like IT-guys being faschinated by them selves as new born designer and craftsman :-|
My perception might be a little more positive if the 3D aficionados would take it a step further and use the possibilities of accurate 'printing' to make molds for forging elements wich afterwards could be milled without the same material expense as milling from a block, but that thought is straight out of the mind of an engineer and wont find way into the mind of a self-impressed IT-guy :-|
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#6 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 09:44 PM

Making one-offs and prototyping is the "bone" of 3d printing. Basically, I can shovel off a model in suitable format from my CAD and upload it straight to 3d printer and make it. Coupling this maybe with a 3d scanner to reconstruct parts have lot of possibilities too. It is easier to build something with additive methods than with milling. 

 

That being said, Armand, you are right in that the 3d printing is not at the moment any kind of option to real milling machines. But one nice thing is that you can print out live prototype in scale if you wish!

 

As per this article, it is a publicity stunt by 3d printer maker, but a good one!


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#7 Armand

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 10:14 PM

Coupling this maybe with a 3d scanner to reconstruct parts have lot of possibilities too. It is easier to build something with additive methods than with milling. 
 

Frankly, it's not! It's the perception of 'building with LEGO' by the non craftsman who gets it promoted to ignorants on the www. Milling off is just thinking in opposite way and way faster.
When it comes to strenght drop forging in a 3D printed mold followed by milling would be ideal, but again: The mold might be CAM-milled out quite faster, but not in a nice calm IT-office environment!

#8 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:04 PM

Actually I see molds being more reasonable to make with milling, since you anyway need to have certain nice surface, which is not straight off the printing process. What I see as possibilities with 3d printing is that you can make lighter, hollowed-out one-piece components and achieve thinner wall thickness without risk of milling through. Certain complex pipe shapes come first in my mind.

 

Welded simple bracket is probably easier and cheaper to make with milling. Something with 3d shape and what needs otherwise 2 or 3 "settings" (finnish word translated, I mean the case that you need to reposition the milled piece for finishing it) might end up being smarter to do with 3d printing.


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#9 GregP

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:02 AM

My big question that nobody has yet answered is whether the 3D printed metal parts could ever be airworthy. Most aircratf metal is VERY selective. When we restore, we mostly use 2024-T3 Aluminum for skin. We can also use 2024-O soft Aluminum, form it, and then heat treat it to make it into -T3 hardness. Some parts are 7075 and some are other alloys. The strength requirments demand aviation-grade alloys.

 

If they plane to just display these aircraft, there is no problem.

 

If they plan to FLY these 3D printed parts, I predict some dire consequences unless they 3D print in wax and use a lost-wax method to cast a part in a proper alloy and heat treat it to the proper hardness for aviation strength and corrosion resistance.

 

So far, we have restored an old Bell YP-59A Airacomet with proper aviation-grade Aluminum alloys, and properly heat-treated parts that were made with O-Aluminum. Personally, I'd not fly a plane that had 3D printed parts in structural places. Canopies endure a LOT of stress in flight. The stress is all outward and the airflow is trying to suck the canopy off the aircraft. When we needed to construct a canopy frame, the tubing was steel and we welded on some steel gussets that we could attach the Plexi to with bolts. We needed a canopy bow and we made one out a 3 pieces. The top cap was machined by our small group (3 of us) out of a solid piece of 7075 and we carefully removed material until it was the correct shape. 7075 is already hardened, so no further strengthening was needed.

 

The canopy jettison mechanism was robbed from a Grumman Tigercat, courtesy of Steve Hinton. It was a small bit too thick and I machined off about 0.23" in overall thickness to make it fit. Everything else was fabricated from 2024-T3 or -T6 Aluminum. We didn't do a Finite Element Analysis on the Emergency Canopy Release, but the Airacoment is also not going to see speeds as high as even a standard Tigercat can make. Our piece started off pretty stout and we only removed 230 mills of thickness from a piece that was over 4 inches thick, and everyone who has experience at stress analysis says we will never see a problem.

 

Wonder if we could say the same had we 3D printed a scintered-metal part? To date, I don't know anyone who can tell me and the testing of the part would be VERY expensive to certify it for flight. Making a 3D model to be scanned and read into a CNC machine program is one thing. Flying a 3D printed part is quite another. My guess is that if they plan to fly it, they print a bit oversize, sand it smooth, and scan it into a machining code program for rendering on a CNC machining center from Aviation grade alloys.


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#10 Armand

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 03:01 PM

Sorry, but i do have to say this:
The sheer possibility of 3D printning is amazing. However, as a traditional skilled craftsman from the iron branch I can't share the excitement of 3D printning saving the world. Actual I find it being overly promoted by IT employees who have experienced the joy of actually having created something physical.......

Said that, I feel need of compleating with my likely antipathy of the ever published "amazing overview from a drone"!
Aerial photos of the entire world have been provided by Google Earth for more than a decade, not to mention previous possibility of simple ballooning a camera wich never became fancy at the same level. But as soon as somebody rises their attached smartphone-camera above roofheight by a drone are the entire www to be informed about the fantastic view :-|




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