3D printing is closely related to aviation. Nowadays, many passenger aircraft components, such as seats, TVs, reading lights, etc., are actually designed by 3D printing. 3D printing is highly flexible and can produce real objects only with a computer, so it can replace the traditional moulding process and create complex designs that were difficult to make before. Aircraft designers have greater freedom to design innovative aircraft cabin components to meet customer needs.
Today’s airline leader Boeing officially adopted 3D printing technology for production lines. It is understood. So far, the company has adopted more than 20,000 parts and components on the aircraft. The ultimate goal of aviation manufacturers is to use 3D printing to directly produce finished engine parts, which brings huge demand for metal 3D printing technology.
In addition to using 3D printing technology for manufacturers, Boeing also strives to develop metal 3D printing technology. Developed the world’s lightest and strongest metal material micro-lattice for the company using 3D printing. The structure of this new type of metal has human bones, its surface is very strong, but the inside is hollow, and it has extraordinary shock absorption and pressure resistance. Boeing hopes to use micro-lattices to build aircraft structures, reduce the weight of the fuselage, and improve the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.
In addition to 3D printing technology used in passenger aircraft, a Boeing spokesperson also stated that the F/A-18super HORNET uses about 150 metal 3D printed parts on the fuselage of the fighter aircraft, which shows that 3D printing is a trick. In February 2019, Boeing combined maglev technology with 3d printing technology and applied for a patent.
Under this technology, the printed matter particles ejected from the nozzle will automatically merge in the air and slowly form an ideal shape; this method can effectively get rid of the limitations of the traditional printing platform, and is designed to bring greater freedom.
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