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Experiences in Additive Manufacturing Technologies for Aerospace Applications

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The aerospace industry is primarily driven by cost, the level of system performance, and development schedule. Today, emerging customer requirements for more complex systems with higher performance is driving the industry to respect Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a solution to reduce the development costs and manufacture structures of complex shapes and sizes not feasible with conventional manufacturing approaches. In this presentation, we provide an overview of the different additive manufacturing technologies used at Ball Aerospace and give examples and lessons learned of some of our current development efforts.  These examples will include parts printed in Aluminum 6061-RAM2, Ti 6Al-4V, and Aluminum 1100-RAM2 using powder bed fusion processes.  Specific examples of the qualification and waiver process will be included.  Additionally, Ball possesses one of the first Desktop Metal studio bound metal deposition systems and will present test data, part examples, and general usage and cost metrics.  Finally, we will provide some observations and lessons learned on several optimization software with examples demonstrating topology optimizations and latticing.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe applications utilizing Aluminum alloys such as 6061-RAM2 and 2024-RAM2 including cost benefits and technical benefits
  • Understand the output and use cases for the Desktop Metal Studio system