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The Impact of Large Format Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace Tooling

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This presentation will discuss the current state of large-format additive manufacturing and its specific impact on the aerospace tooling market. LFAM has been rapidly maturing over the last three years and the tooling industry is seen as a prime target for early adoption. However, like all new technologies, there are challenges and hurdles that need to be addressed at all stages of production, including design, processing and quality. In this case study, the presenter will review several specific large aerospace tools (trim/drill fixtures, master molds, etc.) and the impact of fabricating using LFAM vs. traditional methods currently used in industry (i.e. metallic or composite structures). It will include an overview of design guidelines, processing steps, material performance, and final tool performance. The presentation will conclude with a review of challenges faced in industry for further LFAM adoption and what types of technologies or processes will need to be developed to solve them.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the current state of the art in LFAM technologies in industry, including different machines, materials and applications
  • Identify the challenges associated with LFAM in aerospace and how those challenges can be addressed at different stages of the build process
  • Compare LFAM tooling to traditional tooling based on performance, lead time and cost
  • Sean Henson
    Global Product Manager, Composites & Additive Manufacturing
    Ascent Aerospace