“We’ll probably see the first FAA-approved additive repair for aircraft this year,” predicts Scott Killian, business development manager for aerospace at EOS, which makes 3D machines and software. He knows he is riding a wave, pushed so far by additive production technologies.
So EOS has been busy, developing its 3D software and interfaces to make it easier for both major OEMs and 3D start-ups to transfer design data quickly into EOS machines. “We are seeing a lot of customers coming on line this year and with big plans for the next two years,” Killian notes. EOS expects increases in the next few years in both plastic and metal additive production. Because plastic additive has been used in aerospace for two decades, the sharpest future increases should come as OEMs exploit the design freedom additive metal manufacturing enables.
Apart from additive repairs, additive production itself is steadily transforming the aviation aftermarket, as it alters companies, technologies, costs, inventories and lead times for part supplies. Hundreds of thousands of plastic parts have already been additively produced, and Killian estimates 3D-printed metal parts are already in the tens of thousands.
Read the full story, "Additive metal repairs should come to aircraft parts in 2019," on www.mro-network.com.