Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 33

Additive Manufacturing SPECIAL SECTION

IN FRONT

the aerospace industry has found numerous ways to incorporate
additive manufacturing and 3-d printed products into its innovative
developments. by staci davidson
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Is 2017 going to be the year additive manufacturing starts to
dominate the market? If the aerospace sector has its way, it's very possible. Aerospace manufacturers have made major strides in incorporating
3-D manufacturing in recent months, and it will be interesting to see
what new innovations are created.
	 In	 December,	 for	 example,	 Sciaky	 Inc.	 delivered	 a	 state-ofthe-art	electron	beam	additive	manufacturing	(EBAM)	110	system	to	Airbus,	allowing	the	aircraft	manufacturer	to	produce	
large	 structural	 parts	 made	 of	 titanium	 from	 a	 3-D	 printing	
system.	Using	a	3-D	model	from	a	CAD	program,	Sciaky's	fully	
articulated,	moving	electron	beam	gun	deposits	metal	via	wire	
feedstock,	until	the	part	reaches	near-net	shape.	The	near-net	
shape	 part	 requires	 heat	 treatment	 and	 post-production	 machining,	but	there	is	minimal	material	waste.	
	 "We	all	know	that	metal	3-D	printing	technology	is	going	to	
revolutionize	 manufacturing	 in	 the	 aerospace	 industry,	 and	
Sciaky	 is	 committed	 to	 being	 at	 the	 forefront	 of	 this	 movement,"	says	Bob	Phillips,	vice	president	of	marketing	for	Sciaky.
	 Similarly,	Vector	Space	Systems	had	success	with	the	help	of	a	
3-D	 manufactured	 part.	 In	 early	 December,	 Vector	 successfully	
tested	the	first	stage	5K-lbf	engine	of	its	Vector-R	launch	vehicle	in	
Mojave,	Calif.	The	engine	test	featured	a	single-piece,	3-D	printed	
injector,	 which	 was	 developed	 in	 partnership	 with	 NASA's	 Science,	Technology	and	Mission	Directorate	Flight	Opportunities.	
	 Vector	was	the	first	in	the	industry	to	pursue	the	LOX/Propylene	 propellant	 combination,	 which	 created	 the	 highest	
thrust	to	date	from	a	LOX/Propylene	fueled	engine.	The	test	on	
the	5K-lbf	on	flight	fuels	serves	as	a	stepping	stone	to	Vector's	
first	launch	of	the	Vector-R	slated	for	later	this	year,	and	moves	
the	company	closer	to	its	mission	of	connecting	space	startups	
and	innovators	with	affordable,	reliable	access	to	space.	
	 "This	latest	test	with	Vector	Space	Systems	is	a	very	visible	

demonstration	of	the	benefits	that	Flight	Opportunities	is	generating	through	public-private	partnerships	between	industry,	
academia	and	government,"	says	John	Peugeot,	the	NASA	Marshall	Space	Flight	Center	engineer	who	is	managing	the	joint	
project.	"Our	team	at	Marshall	is	already	starting	to	incorporate	the	lessons	from	this	test	into	the	next	phase	of	injector	
design	 using	 additive	 manufacturing,	 and	 we	 are	 looking	 forward	to	getting	one	of	these	units	into	flight	[this]	year."
	 United	Launch	Alliance	(ULA)	also	is	supportive	of	integrating	
additive	manufacturing	into	the	aerospace	sector,	demonstrated	in	part	by	its	3-2-1	Liftoff!	ULA	Rocket	Hardware	Challenge.	
This	additive	manufacturing	competition	asked	participants	to	
design	a	launch	support	attachment	bracket	for	ULA's	current	
Atlas	V	rocket.	The	challenge	was	hosted	in	December	by	GrabCAD,	 a	 division	 of	 Stratasys	 and	 a	 digital	 manufacturing	 hub	
helping	designers	and	engineers	build	great	products	faster.	
	 Nic	 Adams	 of	 Australia	 created	 the	 winning	 Space	 Racer	
bracket,	 which	 weighs	 0.09	 pounds	 and	 will	 fly	 on	 a	 future	
Atlas	 V	 mission.	 To	 select	 the	 winners,	 ULA	 completed	 a	
detailed	analysis	on	the	entries	using	its	own	methods	and	
tools.	 ULA	 received	 nearly	 400	 entries	 for	 the	 challenge,	
and	a	panel	of	judges,	as	well	as	additional	engineers	and	experts,	judged	the	entries.	
	 "It's	a	truly	exciting	time,	and	we	are	on	the	cusp	of	a	space	
revolution,"	ULA	 CEO	and	President	Tory	 Bruno	says.	"New	
technologies	and	missions	we	haven't	even	imagined	are	on	the	
horizon,	and	ULA	is	transforming	the	future	of	launch."		mt
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017		 manufacturing-today.com			33


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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