Unsettled Technology Domains in Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Concerning Safety, Airworthiness, and Certification
Additive manufacturing (AM) is currently being used to produce many certified aerospace components. However, significant advantages of AM are not exploited due to unresolved issues associated with process control, feedstock materials, surface finish, inspection, and cost. Components subject to fatigue must undergo surface finish improvements to enable inspection. This adds cost and limits the use of topology optimization. Continued development of process models is also required to enable optimization and understand the potential for defects in thin walled and slender sections. Costs are high for powder-fed processes due to material costs, machine costs, and low deposition rates. Cost for wire-fed processes are high due to the extensive post-process machining required. In addition, these processes are limited to low-complexity features.