Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

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Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

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Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

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Aerospace 3d printing will change manufacturing of aircraft

By Staff Writter

Aerospace 3d printing will change manufacturing of aircraft

Engineering

National Defense Magazine recently related how aerospace 3d printing promises to revolutionize how aircraft components are manufactured. Companies such as General Electric and Rolls Royce are embracing the new technology as it continues to evolve and mature.

Traditionally components are made by a process of “subtractive manufacturing” in which metal and other materials are drilled, cut, and sanded into shape. 3d printing, on the other hand, constitutes “additive” manufacturing. The plan for a component is downloaded from a computer and is made, layer by layer, in a 3d printer, out of some substance, either polymer or metal.

3d printing has a number of advantages over traditional manufacturing where aerospace is concerned.

First, there are significant cost savings due to the fact that the manufacturing is “additive” in that none of the material is thrown out. Only the material that goes into the printer comes out as the finished part.

Second, 3d printing allows for rapid prototyping of new components. A designer can create a new part on a computer aided design program and then print it out for testing quickly, cutting down the time it takes to test new components.

Finally, 3d printing allows one to create aircraft and spacecraft parts like fuel nozzles all in one piece. In traditional manufacturing, such parts are often created from separate pieces that are made and then wielded together. Parts that are made with 3d manufacturing are more durable, have higher tolerances for stress and temperature, and are lighter than those created by traditional methods.

Future aircraft and spacecraft, ranging from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle, will be made from 3d printed parts. For aerospace, 3d printing constitutes a virtual industrial revolution.