Tooling for injection molded parts need not be made of metal. This is essential during the pre-production phase when a manufacturer only requires to make a small run of parts for the prototype aircraft or components.
Fremont, CA: 3D printing can adapt to anything which the filament available can create. It is a practical prototyping method for various elements of ground support equipment prototypes, from full-scale mockups of sun drives, gear reductions to circuit boards.
Rapid prototyping is an excellent application in additive manufacturing for the aerospace and defense industries. An exact copy of a given component can be made of a non-certified polymer that provides all the fit and finish of the final project of a non-functioning mockup at a fraction of the price. Also, it gets a scale model of the product on the showroom floor quickly.
Tooling for injection molded parts need not be made of metal. This is essential during the pre-production phase when a manufacturer only requires to make a small run of parts for the prototype aircraft or components. They can modify the design if needed and build the permanent tooling for the production line after the proof of concept has been confirmed.
Additive manufacturing is excellent at transferring raw files into a finished model and infinite complexity. However, it is not well suited for mass production as it is intended to build complex designs instead of the rapid production of identical components.
The Advantage of 3D Printing
AM printing can build a single, large component from the ground up in a single unit instead of assembling many small parts for a single component, enabling manufacturers to prevent material waste, weight, and bulk.
Metal additive manufacturing does not need comprehensive tooling and dies production, eliminating turnaround time as it can be measured in hours or days instead of weeks. Metal AM could end up cutting up to 25 percent weight for replacement components. With significant structural components, it could save hundreds or thousands of pounds according to the component's size and scope.
See also: Top 3D Printing Solution Companies