Components used in aerospace need to be high-quality, complex, exact, and perhaps most importantly, aerodynamic. Additive manufacturing (AM) is conducive to printing custom one-off parts, manufacturing tools, and prototypes at low costs. Additive materials are also ideal for developing lightweight parts, which ultimately saves on fuel and CO2 emissions in aerospace applications. As safety is of the essence in this industry, aerospace manufacturers are seeing benefits in the traceability and reliance of end-to-end digitized additive workflows.
To reap the full benefits of additive manufacturing for aerospace, it’s essential to connect and streamline the digital thread from DfAM (design for additive manufacturing), through to post-printing. Regardless of how efficient metal printing methods like DMLS, SLM, DED, and FDM are for aerospace when used with high-quality print materials, the lack of digitized post-printing can result in warped parts, breakage, and overall impede otherwise streamlined workflows.