1998-06-02

Use of Directed Light Fabrication for Aircraft Components 981847

One method to reduce the cost and flow time associated with the fabrication of commercial aircraft components is to apply digital design definition straight to the manufacturing floor. Directed Light Fabrication, an extension of rapid prototyping technology, has an advantage of being able to produce full density metallic components from single or multiple materials without tooling, thus minimizing costs.
The directed light fabrication process was evaluated for aircraft application by developing process parameters and fabricating sub-scale generic components from multiple materials.
Simulated aircraft components were successfully fabricated which showed that the use of directed light fabrication technology is technically feasible for aircraft application. Components were built without unique tooling therefore avoiding costs for customization. Multiple materials were successfully used which provides an opportunity for designers to take advantage of higher strength or lighter weight materials compared to those currently used.

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