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SPECIAL REPORT

Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing: The Pace of Change The Additive Manufacturing Paradigm Shift The Third Industrial Revolution A Current and Future Revolution in Manufacturing

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

SPECIAL REPORT

Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing: The Pace of Change

Contents

The Additive Manufacturing Paradigm Shift The Third Industrial Revolution A Current and Future Revolution in Manufacturing

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development

3

Paragon Rapid Technologies

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

Controlling Gun Turrets on Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Rapid Prototyping Additive Manufacturing Paragon Rapid Technologies

Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing: The Pace of Change Mary Dub, Editor

Chuck Hall of 3-D Systems Corporation Sintering and Melting: An Unclear Boundary Industry, Universities and Armed Forces Working Together in Cooperation

The Additive Manufacturing Paradigm Shift

10

Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Additive Manufacturing of Parts for BAE Systems The Economy and Cost Reduction Case for the Defence Market Boeing’s Use of Additive Manufacturing for its Commercial Advantages Direct Digital Manufacturing in Action

The Third Industrial Revolution

12

Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Pratt & Whitney Electron Beam Melting Machines for Additive Manufacturing

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

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A Current and Future Revolution in Manufacturing

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Materials Research Required Parallel Developments in China

14

Mary Dub, Editor

The Office of (US) Naval Research The Printed Car… China Powers Progress for Additive Manufacturing The Potential for Cost Effective Mass Customisation and Integrated Complexity Future Applications for Additive Manufacturing

References 16

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Foreword T

HIS SPECIAL Report focuses on rapid

The third piece in the report reviews how the most

prototyping services or additive manufacturing,

demanding and innovative manufacturers are working

a relatively new technology achieving maturity

with additive manufacturing (AM) to meet the eternal

and adoption by some of the most demanding

demands of the marketplace to produce more items to

global defence manufacturers in the UK, the

high specification for less cost and, for the aerospace

United States and China.

industry, with less weight or mass. This AM is on the

The opening article looks at how, since its birth

way to being able to deliver, not just in materials like

in the late 1980s, rapid prototyping has become

polymers and plastics, but also in metals required by

more accessible, even essential, to product

the aerospace industry.

designers at every level. One of the major benefits

The Third Industrial Revolution is how some see this

of rapid prototyping is that products can be tested

new manufacturing technology. And it is in the process

and manufactured without the initial financial

of creating some astounding results. However, these

outlay of production tooling. Whereas, in the past,

achievements are built on recent research that still

material properties presented limitations so that

leaves further work to carry it forward. Some of these

rapid prototyping could be used only for concept

issues are covered in the fourth article.

evaluation or checking form and fit, recent advances

The final article, looking as always to the future,

in material development have made it possible to

sees a global marketplace for products generated by

apply prototype manufacturing processes to

additive manufacturing and being produced globally

achieve low volume production. The new flexibility

by countries such as China, which are investing heavily

that this brings about means that greater testing of

in this technology, not just to produce small high

products can be carried out, thus reducing risks and

specification items, for example for mobile phones,

uncertainties and saving costs.

but for their aerospace industry. This is an industrial

Those that are familiar with the history and technologies of these industrial manufacturing robots

robotic process that is already making inroads into changing the world of manufacturing.

are familiar with the technical terms that are used in the field. I use the second article in the report to summarise the history and throw light on the technical terms so that those who need briefing on this new capability can grasp the debate.

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub is the editor of this Special Report. She has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development Paragon Rapid Technologies

The benefits of using Rapid Prototyping services include allowing military equipment manufacturers and system integrators to add value to their product development. There is a strong commercial case for increasing the usage of these Prototyping services to support modern military and air force projects.

3

D PRINTING is certainly a hot topic at the moment with entry level equipment available at affordable prices and this has opened minds to the endless possibilities of applications of additive manufacturing. The new generation of designers and engineers will develop their skills with the understanding that many products can be produced without the traditional manufacturing constraints and limitations - but will this lead to a better designed product or just unlock the possibilities of mass customisation? At Paragon Rapid Technologies we believe that Rapid Prototyping has the potential to transform military product development in many ways (detailed later), the most significant being: • Allowing lower volume manufacturing of new products without the need for high tooling costs, so allowing the development of more specialised or even fully customised products • The potential to massively speed up the rate of product development so vital new military equipment can make it to the field quicker. Designs are quickly optimised via Prototyping and can then be produced either completely via additive manufacturing (without the need for tooling) or as a bridge to production Rapid Prototyping was born in the late 1980s through the development of the early additive manufacturing technologies, but it was the mid90s when processes such as stereolithography were aligned with more traditional polyurethane casting processes that the commercial benefits became apparent. Although at that time Rapid Prototyping was seen as a high cost process only available to the wealthier blue chip companies, it quickly grew into

a competitive market, becoming more accessible and, indeed, essential to product designers at every level. We see the development of additive manufacturing as an exciting opportunity to unlock the potential of optimised design. But the more traditional casting technologies within Rapid Prototyping are where many of the commercial benefits can be found, allowing products to be tested and manufactured without the initial financial outlay of production tooling.

Rapid Prototyping Rapid Prototyping services are widely used across all market sectors including Automotive, Consumer Products, Medical, Oil and Gas, etc. as well as Aerospace and Defence (A&D), which currently accounts for over 10% of the global market. The available Rapid Prototyping processes and applications within product development are vast, but we are seeing an increased transition across to low volume manufacture of both polymer and metal based additive manufacture as well as more traditional polyurethane casting processes. Rapid Prototyping in all of its many forms is used extensively throughout the product development phase from initial concept evaluation for checking form and fit, to functional field trials, but, in the past, material properties have presented limitations and were never quite adequate for final use. However, more recent advances in material development are now allowing designers and manufacturers to apply prototype manufacturing processes to support low volume production. Manufacturing useable, finished parts directly from the 3D digital data is a technological WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

More recent advances in material development are now allowing designers and manufacturers to apply prototype manufacturing processes to support low volume production

SECTION OF A GAS TURBINE ILLUSTRATING THE COMPLEXITY THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH SCALE MODELS

breakthrough which, although embraced at the product development stage over the last three decades, is only now starting to emerge as a viable solution for manufacture, particularly through the sintering technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).

Military Products Historically military products have typical been designed as rugged metal fabrications, whether it be a vehicle, a mine detector or a radio set. This is due to a number of factors including available manufacturing technologies, low volume production requirements, the need for customisation and the ability to withstand the rigours of the battlefield. Designs were primarily functional with less focus given to ergonomics or aesthetics. Now, the supply chain for military hardware and equipment is ever growing with companies investing far more resource into product development, in order to gain the competitive edge in the market place, by offering added value through their product. This added value is applied by designing and manufacturing products which address all of the real needs of the user, and the buying policy of the individual or the organisation will inevitably be no different to the process of buying a car, a vacuum cleaner or any other consumer goods. A key part of this decision-making process is the evaluation of the product and comparison to alternatives, considering factors such as usability, functionality, efficiency, cost, availability, longevity etc. But more consideration is now 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

given to the user interaction, ergonomics and weight reduction. All of these factors can be improved and optimised through the integration of Rapid Prototyping into the design cycle. 1. Proof of concept The facility to make frequent changes and adjustments to a digital design and then very quickly generate a physical evaluation model through “3D Printing� processes has dramatically reduced design development times but also allows designers to explore far more variations and opportunities. 2. Improved ergonomics With the opportunity to quickly produce multiple iterations of a design at the concept stages without the need for expensive re-tooling, products can be optimised for ergonomics and functionality with end user assessments possible at an early stage. 3. Reduced Time to market By accelerating the product development phase through the use of Rapid Prototyping technologies, manufacturers can confidently lay down production tooling earlier, allowing them to maximise their market advantage and benefit from a quicker return on investment. However, in many cases, Rapid Prototyping processes are adopted, also, as a manufacturing solution so further significantly reducing the time to market. This strategy is often applied as a bridge to production allowing manufacturers not only to get their products in the field quicker, but also to gain direct user feedback before making more significant investments as demand increases,


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

FULLY FUNCTIONAL VACUUM CAST ASSEMBLIES OF HIGH INTENSITY LED LAMPS FOR USE IN HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS -UTILISING POLYURETHANE PARTS FROM SILICONE TOOLS

thus creating the opportunity to improve designs further, again adding value to the end product. 4. Optimised for manufacture A physical model in the hand is an invaluable tool to assess a design for manufacture and allows early consideration to be given to tool design and manufacturability. But, perhaps more importantly, the product can be evaluated from an assembly point of view as to how parts will mate together or the practicality of assembling electronics and other internal hardware. Improvements to the design can reduce significantly part count, material and assembly time resulting in a lower tooling investment and reduced manufacturing time and cost. 5. Validation and user trials The functionality of materials through both sintering and casting processes allow extensive field trials to be carried out in addition to initial lab testing. At Paragon Rapid Technologies, for example, we were involved in providing fully functional prototypes of General Service Respirators for field trials by the manufacturer, before issuing them to the military. The flexibility of the processes means that new products can be tested as many times as required, helping to reduce risks and uncertainties and improve product functionality at lower costs. 6. Low volume manufacture Most products we see around us are sold in high volumes to the masses and so can be manufactured cost effectively through the efficiencies of scale with high front end investment in production tooling and automated assembly.

CHEMICAL FILTER CONCEPT FOR AIR PURIFICATION INSIDE CHALLENGER II TANKS

However, due to the nature of the A&D market, in most cases products are only required in much lower volumes where quantities won’t allow the amortisation of tooling investment across the production run. This limits the manufacturing route to more “fabricated” methods. However, many of the Rapid Prototyping processes and, in particular, SLS and PU casting, now offer a means to produce parts which look and feel like injection mouldings, but without the tooling investment. Admittedly, the mechanical properties of the materials differ slightly, but manufacturers are now designing parts specifically for these processes by giving consideration to material properties and processes limitations. There are many advantages to consider with these WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The flexibility of the

or impossible to produce with traditional manufacturing techniques, so designers and engineers can devise completely new shapes and structures without regard for existing manufacturing limitations. This freedom from the constraints of machining, casting or tooling means that parts can be optimised for strength versus weight with almost unlimited complexity.

processes means that new products can be tested as many times as required, helping to reduce risks and uncertainties and improve product

EXAMPLE OF TOOLING AND COMPONENTS FOR SILICONE MOULDING PROCESS

functionality at lower costs

processes such as increased part complexity and the ability to produce “un-toolable” geometries with SLS and also the flexibility to mould parts with varying wall sections in PU, breaking many of the constraints applied to high volume production mouldings. 7. Post production evaluation Typically, the low cost tooling for these low volume production solutions has a very short life span and is repeated at regular intervals or in the case of SLS there is no tooling required at all. So these processes allow ongoing changes to the design to be applied through the production cycle. This gives manufacturers opportunities to release initial products onto the market in controlled trial quantities and then hone the design from direct feedback from the end users again without significant additional costs for tool modifications.

Additive Manufacturing 1. Customisation Additive Manufacturing (AM) allows designers to customize products to customer requirements in much lower volumes than possible with traditional manufacturing. Companies that seek to develop customized versions of existing products, or develop new products altogether, can do this without expensive changes to production tooling or machinery. Savings in changeover time and effort enable companies to get products to their customers faster, improving their market responsiveness. 2. Removal of traditional manufacturing limitations AM’s ability to create free-form designs helps in building components that are difficult 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

3. Production of complex parts With traditional machining or casting, designs are often compromised through the trade-off between complexity and cost of machining complex shapes and details. However, AM enables products to be designed, not to accommodate manufacturing capabilities, but to deliver maximum performance. A leading aero engine manufacturer is using AM to create fan blade edges with complex shapes to optimize airflow – it is difficult and time-consuming to machine such blades through traditional manufacturing. By 2016, the company plans to manufacture these blade edges in large production runs using AM. 4. Weight reduction Weight reduction is a key goal in product design within the A&D sector particularly for aircraft components or military personnel equipment. The industry has been a market leader in the development of light weight, high strength composite materials but more recently with the adoption of AM, advancements in software allow the analysis of loads and stresses within conventional components and then from that analysis the structure can be redesigned with material removed from the non-load bearing areas. It is still possible to maintain the parts’ strength by providing support only where required, resulting in a much lighter-weight component which, characteristically, will have a very organic form and often a complex lattice structure which is ideally suited to additive manufacturing processes. By manufacturing through this route there is a double benefit not only by reducing component weight, which in turn improves efficiency of the aircraft and reduces fatigue of the user, but also reduces the volume of material required for manufacture. 5. Waste minimisation AM, by its very nature, is a material-efficient manufacturing process regardless of the added benefits of volume reduction through optimised design. This is because material is only “added” where needed, whereas traditional machining processes are subtractive in that they remove material from a solid billet often with as much as 80-90 percent ending up as swarf. Typically


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

niche products can be manufactured to order with the flexibility of specific customisation options.

PROTOTYPES FOR TOUCH BIONICS I-LIMB – THE SILICONE MOULDING PROCESS

aerospace parts are built using expensive materials such as titanium and, although the scrap material can be recycled, this carries its own costs and logistical implications. In terms of cost comparison, even though the titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) used in the AM process costs more than the wrought Ti-6Al-4V used in a traditional process, a significant percent of the cost of a component can still be eliminated without compromising its mechanical properties. 6. Reduced part count Another benefit of AM is the ability to produce multiple parts as a single component, thereby reducing assembly time and cost and also reducing tolerance stacking issues and process and quality control requirements, particularly when multiple parts are required to be welded together. The overall manufacturing costs are greatly reduced by only producing a single component, removing any tooling investment or labour for assembly and post processes. Thus, the management of logistics is greatly improved. 7. Reduced time to market AM helps companies quickly build accurate, functional prototypes, accelerating the design verification phase, reducing time to market, and giving manufacturers a competitive advantage and quicker return on investment. Higher value,

8. Adoption of the technology AM is still used primarily for prototyping rather than production and a major issue is for designers and engineers to fully understand the capabilities of the processes and the opportunities created by the technology. It’s a difficult challenge to get engineers to take a different approach by using alternative materials and processes whilst harbouring uncertainties, when they can play safe and follow the traditional route. It is expected that AM processes will continue to develop as they become a more intrinsic part of manufacturing and this will include improvements in accuracy, surface finish, tolerance and sheer size. However, the most significant developments will probably be with materials and the ability to produce parts with varying mechanical properties and embedded technology such as optical or electrical tracks and circuitry. AM will become more mainstream as parts are designed specifically for this process as we have seen in the dental and medical sectors, and manufacturers will use these processes to compliment and replace some of their current capabilities. It has even been suggested that manufacturers and service centres will have AM machines instead of warehouses full of stock, giving them the ability to build spares to order in remote locations.

Paragon Rapid Technologies At Paragon, our focus is on using many of these processes to provide both prototype and low volume production solutions to our ever-growing customer base. Our continual R&D development programme is helping us to identify application specific materials for Defence, Aerospace and Oil & Gas markets. We’ve adopted a flexible approach towards our service which has been necessary when working with such a range of companies from individual designers, to industry leaders and government bodies, on projects as diverse as full face respirators and chemical filter systems to communications equipment and portable lighting. From missile components and training weapons to parts for UAVs and land vehicles.

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing: The Pace of Change Mary Dub, Editor

“Advanced manufacturing technologies are playing a huge part in determining Boeing’s global future,” said Julie-Ellen Acosta, vice president of Structural Technologies, Prototyping, and Quality for Boeing Phantom Works. “Our vision is to lead the revolution to a lean, quality-focused global enterprise. We do that by transitioning innovative structural and manufacturing solutions into Boeing products and processes.”1

The term “SLS” refers to any use of a directed energy beam to selectively sinter or melt certain areas of a powder bed in order to build an object in layers

SLA PROCESS - LONG SHUTTER SPEED SHOWS PROCESS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME

T

HE FIELD of rapid prototyping is packed with innovative terms to define emerging technologies. To help the reader understand this maturing technology, I offer a summary of the historic engineering breakthroughs of the last 30 years. Exactly where the manufacturing revolution, that is the series of technology advances that is rapid prototyping, began is unclear. Hideo Kodama’s publication in 1981 of ‘an automatic method for fabricating a three dimensional plastic model with photo hardening polymer’ at the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute in Japan is seen as the significant step forward. 8 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

He made a solid model fabricated by exposing liquid photo-hardening polymer to ultraviolet rays and stacking the cross-sectional solidified layers.2 This process became known as ‘3 D printing’ or ‘additive manufacturing’. When a liquid photo-hardening polymer is exposed to ultraviolet rays (wave length, 300-400 nm), it is solidified from the surface. The thickness of the solidified layer is a function of the UV intensity and the exposure time. Therefore, a solidified layer of the desired shape and the thickness can be grown by controlling the exposure area, intensity, and time.3


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Chuck Hall of 3-D Systems Corporation Along a similar line of enquiry, Chuck Hall of 3-D Systems Corporation, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, developed the same process, but took it on one stage further, which he called Stereo Lithography, by developing the programming file format STL or Standard Tessellation Language (1986). Other universities and engineers in the United States were taking on similar engineering enquiries. It would be a mistake not to mention in parallel the work of the group of engineers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Mechanical Engineering Department. They developed a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a form of additive manufacturing created in the 1980s, which they describe thus: “The term “sintering” refers to a process by which objects are created from powders using the mechanism of atomic diffusion. Although atomic diffusion occurs in any material above absolute zero, the process occurs much faster at higher temperatures, which is why sintering involves heating a powder. Sintering is different from melting in that the materials never reach a liquid phase during the sintering process.” Another company in the United States, Stratasys, Inc., developed a related process and called it Fused Deposition Modeling. In Germany the manufacturer EOS GmbH, was developing similar industrial systems.

Sintering and Melting: An Unclear Boundary In the process of learning the jargon and beginning to understand the significance and utility of additive manufacturing, the precise

meanings of words are both clarified and intentionally blurred. “Sintering” is a phrase that is now part of the jargon as well as a scientific term. Since the first SLS machines were only used with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) the petrol based polymer, the phrase sintering i.e. not melting, was correct. However, when SLS began using crystalline and semi-crystalline materials such as nylon and metal that do melt during the SLS process, the name “selective laser sintering” was already well established and stuck despite having become a misnomer. Now, the term “SLS” refers to any use of a directed energy beam to selectively sinter or melt certain areas of a powder bed in order to build an object in layers.4

Industry, Universities and Armed Forces Working Together in Cooperation A long pathway has been covered since the early technological achievements of the 1980s in Japan, the United States and Germany amongst many others. The group of technologies is both at a state of maturity for some rapid prototyping services and ‘start up’ mode in others, while many would argue that the industry has further technological riddles to puzzle through. However, such is the optimism and potential utility of this process that industrial leaders such as Boeing, the car manufacturer Lotus5 and University Engineering Departments from Connecticut in the US to Sheffield in the UK have been working in new partnerships. These partnerships plan to harness the potential of this new revolution in manufacturing and resolve residual problems for the benefit of industry and the Armed Forces. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The Additive Manufacturing Paradigm Shift Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

AM, the process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional (3D) model data, usually layer by layer, is distinctly different from and has many advantages over traditional manufacturing processes

T

HE DISRUPTIVE effect of a new technology forces new ways of looking at current practice. This is the nature of a paradigm shift. Until now, manufacturing has been ‘subtractive’ whereby traditional machining processes remove material from a solid billet. With additive manufacturing (AM) a new light is shed on how an industrial manufacturing robot can deliver product that has been impossible or very expensive hitherto. How and why is this done? Describing the potential benefits of AM, Professors Yong Huang6 and Ming Leu7 at a conference on the Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research describe the realised achievements of this series of new technologies. AM, the process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional (3D) model data, usually layer by layer, is distinctly different from and has many advantages over traditional manufacturing processes. For example, customized and personalized parts can be made on-demand easily; no need exists for special tooling in part fabrication, material waste is greatly reduced, the time and cost of manufacturing can be reduced significantly for individualized parts and smallquantity productions, novel components and structures with complex geometries and heterogeneous compositions can be fabricated without difficulty, and the supply chain is compressed drastically.8

Additive Manufacturing of Parts for BAE Systems Aerospace components often have complex geometries and are frequently made from advanced materials, such as titanium alloys, nickel super alloys, special steels, or ultrahigh temperature ceramics, which are difficult, costly, and time-consuming to manufacture using conventional processes. Additionally, aerospace production runs are usually small, limited to a maximum of several thousand parts. Therefore, AM technology is highly suitable for aerospace applications. For example, after their tests of AM-fabricated parts, BAE Systems 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

has approved a replacement part made using AM – a plastic window breather pipe for the BAE 146 regional jet. Furthermore, Optomec9 recently used the Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) process to fabricate complex metal components for satellites, helicopters, and jet engines.10

The Economy and Cost Reduction Case for the Defence Market In terms of economy and sustainability, AM offers multiple advantages over conventional manufacturing technologies, including reduced material waste and energy consumption. This is especially important for very high value materials, some of which are wasted in subtractive manufacturing. At a time when logistics are critical for war fighting capability, shortened time-to-market or in defence applications operations, just-in-time production, and fabrication of structures not possible by traditional means are all powerful arguments for the use of this type of digital industrial manufacture.11

Boeing’s Use of Additive Manufacturing for its Commercial Advantages It is difficult to argue with a successful manufacturer of commercial and defence aircraft that has both sponsored development of AM and adopted the same techniques itself. Boeing, the global aerospace company, used innovative manufacturing techniques to produce the new forward fuselage for the F/A-18E/F, Super Hornet for the US Navy. The redesigned fuselage has 40 per cent fewer parts, 51 per cent fewer fasteners and takes 31 per cent less time to build, all leading to lower costs for Boeing, the U.S. Navy and taxpayers. Moreover, the new fuselage is designed to last three times longer than required, to ensure low lifecycle cost. AM facilitates a noted weight reduction in parts – the ‘eternal’ goal. Modern equipment is allowing mechanics to machine to minute tolerances that can shave off as much as 30 per cent of a structure’s weight on the Joint Unmanned Combat


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

THE RIM MOULDING PROCESS - INJECTING RESIN INTO A TOOL

Air System and panels for the Boeing 702 commercial satellite. By manufacturing large, unitized parts through the use of composites, high-speed machining, super-plastic forming or titanium casting, thousands of smaller parts can be eliminated. By reducing the part count on the E/F model of the F/A-18 by 45 per cent, for example, Boeing has reduced its labour hours significantly. The cycle time to replace parts has been dramatically reduced. Advanced prototyping methods are reducing and, in some cases, eliminating costly, hardto-manage tooling. Solid modelling advances including 3-D imagery have eliminated timeconsuming drafting or engineering drawings. “’Reverse engineering” coupled with laserassisted manufacturing allows the speedy manufacture of complex parts, essentially creating manufacturing-on-demand. Potentially, this can increase the useful life of legacy platforms. Some new materials and structures are lighter and stronger, which translates into improved performance. As new technologies are added to platforms and systems, the lifecycle of the product is expanded. Moreover, it is planned that advanced prototyping could help to keep

legacy products such as the B-52 and the Harrier II AV-8B Plus in active service longer.

Direct Digital Manufacturing in Action Boeing design teams can send data files through secured networks or burn them to CDs or DVDs. The data can then be applied directly to the manufacturing device and, using the stereo lithography principle, a laser is used to “grow” parts from powder, without any need for direct-touch labour or hard tooling. This has tremendous significance for producing complexshaped, hard-to-find or legacy parts in the field. Advances in non-autoclave composites have significantly reduced the cost of some tooling. But laser-forming direct digital manufacturing techniques enable the quick fabrication of lowcost tools made of resins and other materials. These kinds of developments impact Boeing’s bottom line. Bart Moenster, director of Advanced Manufacturing R&D in St. Louis said “There’s no limit to where we can go. Nanotechnology could be producing composites that are even lighter and stronger than today’s materials. Someday, we may be able to make aluminium that is as good as or better than titanium.”12

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The Third Industrial Revolution Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Engineers working in the field argue that overall material development effort should include the development of metallic and non-metallic inks with desired rheological properties in order to create feature resolution on the order of sub-micrometres

3

D PRINTING was originally conceived as a way to make one-off prototypes, but as the technology has improved more things are being printed as finished goods (a process known as additive manufacturing). Currently around 28% of the money spent on printing objects is for final products, according to Terry Wohlers13, who runs a research firm specialising in the field. He predicts that this will rise to just over 50% by 2016 and to more than 80% by 2020. But it will never reach 100%, he thinks, because the ability to make prototypes quickly and cheaply will remain an important part of the mix.14

Pratt & Whitney Electron Beam Melting Machines for Additive Manufacturing In a cooperative partnership with industry, the University of Connecticut (US), is working with Pratt & Whitney, the American aerospace manufacturer. The Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center features the latest in 3-D manufacturing equipment and rapid prototyping technologies at the University of Connecticut’s Depot Campus in Storrs with two Arcam electron beam melting (EBM) A2X model machines for the manufacturing of large, complex metal parts at high temperatures. Why is this so important?

Gaps and Needs One of the weaknesses of AM is that the process of layering the material either by sintering or melting produces a material that is not as rugged and resilient as other forms of manufacture. This applies to metallic, plastic, ceramic, composite, and biological materials, all of which are used in the computer automated process. As Professors Huang and Leu described in their presentation on the Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing, this is one of the challenges that is in the process of being addressed. For example, there are limited materials available for use in AM processes, relatively poor part accuracy caused by the stairstepping effect, insufficient repeatability and consistency in the produced parts, and lack of 12 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

qualification and certification methodologies for AM processes.15 However, steps forward are being made on this issue and some of them are being resolved to the very high standards required by the aerospace industry to ensure security. This recent development has significant supply and cost cutting benefits for the industry.16 Aerospace components often have complex geometries and usually are made from advanced and very expensive materials. The production runs for aerospace parts are also short in industrial terms. So AM has value for the aerospace industry. As Huang and Leu point out, research is needed to expedite the transformation of 3D printing from rapid prototyping to the additive manufacture of advanced materials that boast material flexibility, the ability to generate fine features (< 100 microns), and high throughput.17

Materials Research Required Although rapid prototyping is an increasingly maturing industry, there are areas for further research. There is a need to enlarge the selection of materials suitable for layering. It is also necessary to prepare a database of the mechanical properties of parts fabricated by AM, and determine the interaction between materials and process parameters. In metallurgy, it takes about 10 years to develop a new alloy, including the determination of various critical properties such as fatigue strength. This timeframe applies also to developing new materials for AM, which have different requirements such as high mechanical strength and/or high corrosion resistance. Even with existing materials, advancements are needed in the formation of powder; for example, it is difficult to produce β-Ti powder. Engineers working in the field argue that overall material development effort should include the development of metallic and nonmetallic inks with desired rheological properties in order to create feature resolution on the order of sub-micrometres.18

Parallel Developments in China The Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China has founded its economic growth on traditional manufacturing.


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

QUALITY CONTROL – RAPID PROTOTYPING TECHNOLOGIES ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF MODELS TO PRODUCTION TOLERANCES

SLS MACHINES

But it is also entering the business of additive manufacturing. One of one of the country’s largest 3D printers belongs to the National Laboratory for Aeronautics and Astronautics at Beihang University. Wang Huaming, the laboratory’s chief scientist, told a digital-manufacturing seminar organised recently by the Laboratory of High Performance Computing, a government

research institute in China, that this machine is being employed to make large and complex parts for China’s commercial-aircraft programme, which plans to build planes to rival those turned out by Airbus and Boeing. These parts include titanium fuselage frames and highstrength steel landing gear – objects that require the metal they are made from to be free of flaws, which might cause them to fail. Printing such things, rather than making them from precast metal will be a technical achievement, and Dr Wang’s team is working, therefore, on the tricky problem of controlling the re-crystallisation of metals after the laser has melted them.19 Leaving aside aerospace applications, Chinese industry is also working on different specification items extruding filaments of molten plastic to build up objects such as toys, mobile-phone cases and car fittings. These skills may, in time, also have defence applications.

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

A Current and Future Revolution in Manufacturing Mary Dub, Editor

AM processes have the potential to revolutionize the cost-effective mass customisation of complex products that cannot be manufactured easily using conventional technologies

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NDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING robots are now in use. So what might have been unthinkably futuristic a generation ago is now reality and the pace of change is speeding up with wider adoption. The industrial robot that is rapid prototyping integrates a series of changing technologies. Many can respond to digital instructions to produce an individualised product at speed. This has great and still to be exploited advantages for those looking to create prototypes that have in the past been both costly and difficult to construct. The capability of rapid AM techniques to deliver these types of prototypes is now no longer limited to plastics and polymers, but now can be done my melting or sintering metals or alloys to a high specification, as are required by the aerospace industry. Key prime contractors in the global aerospace industry are already using these new technologies and developing them further in partnership with university mechanical engineering departments. For those who have worked since the 1980s, the technology seems to have reached considerable maturity. But as with all ‘revolutions’ or to use the language of science, paradigm shifts, these can and do produce a long train of unintended consequences.

The Office of (US) Naval Research The United States’ Department of Defense’s own Office of Naval Research is thoughtful and optimistic about the extent to which AM will have a profound impact on cost cutting and logistics in the US Armed Forces. “It has become abundantly clear that Additive Manufacturing (AM) will have a disruptive influence on the U.S. and world. The implication of having the technological capability to produce “parts on demand when and where they are needed” is evolving in real-time. It is likely that AM will impact every aspect of the acquisition life cycle of naval systems including design, engineering, manufacturing, repair and maintenance. Furthermore our current 14 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

business models, product delivery methods, and logistic support system will need to adapt in order to take advantage of the full potential benefits of AM.20” For the Department of the Navy (DoN), it is important to understand what the implications are for war fighting.21 The site highlights two members of the armed forces who have fabricated a plastic gun – a model of the Liberator. Fifteen of the 16 pieces of the gun have been created inside an $8,000 secondhand Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, a machine that lays down threads of melted polymer that add up to precisely-shaped solid objects just as easily as a traditional printer lays ink on a page. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail used as its firing pin. An article in Forbes Magazine written by reporter Andy Greenberg notes that the gun fired.22 The potential of such a development for the armed forces is massive.

The Printed Car… The prestigious New York Times carries a story about a former US Marine who printed a car body and then drove the vehicle.23 These newsworthy achievements are not guarantees of future success, but they are useful guides to thinking about what can already be done with current technology, leading to hope of more to come.

China Powers Progress for Additive Manufacturing In a recent bulletin of the University of California’s Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, a research analyst, Eric Anderson, notes how fast the AM market is growing and the extent to which it is being invested in. In 2012, China had only 8.6 per cent of the world’s installed 3D printing systems, but it also had the largest growth in installed systems worldwide. This trend is unchanged from 2008, when China’s installed systems grew 39.7 per cent, from 1,986 to 2,472. President Li Peigen of Huazhong University of Science & Technology states that R&D and production in AM in China


SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

ALUMINIUM TOOL FOR SILICONE MOULDINGS PRODUCING COMPONENT FOR GSR RESPIRATOR

is almost on par with developed countries. Following a visit to China, AM consultant Graham Tromans expressed that â&#x20AC;&#x153;China will ultimately become one of the largest and possibly the strongest [country] in applying and developing AM technologies.â&#x20AC;?24

The Potential for Cost Effective Mass Customisation and Integrated Complexity In this fast moving field, it is important to put aside the hope and the hype and to look at what the research engineers, working alongside industry, see as plausible steps in the future. Professors Huang and Leu are remarkably optimistic. AM has great potential to provide unprecedented control over the shape, composition and function of fabricated products, as well as a high degree of personalization for individuals. AM processes have the potential to revolutionize the cost-effective mass customisation of complex products that cannot be manufactured easily using conventional technologies. Using AM, products can be manufactured with a broad range of sizes, materials, and functionalities.

Future Applications for Additive Manufacturing It is unusual to include a long list of types of products of the future, but this group of technologies is so exciting that the intricacy of the types of products is breath-taking. It is said that25 say future applications may include conformal, flexible electronics; products with embedded multi-material sensors and actuators; high-power, high-energy-density micro batteries; cellular machines; turbine blades with internal cavities; lightweight, high-strength aerospace structures with material gradients; multi-functional houses; custom medications; and even human organs, to name a few. AM enables the printing of complex shapes with controllable compositions and active functions. Finally, to punch home the cost effectiveness of the process, the economy of material energy use is cited. This leads to a shorter time-to-market, just-in-time production, and the fabrication of structures not possible by traditional means. But while the short and medium term potential is significant, so too are the research challenges to make the reality as good as promised.

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SPECIAL REPORT: RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICES FOR MILITARY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

References: http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2004/december/ts_sf03.html Boeing engineers and technologists are constantly developing better ways to design and make products. STORY BY WILLIAM COLE | PHOTOS BY BOB FERGUSON

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http://dougneckersexplores.com/data/documents/1.1136492.pdf Automatic method for fabricating a three dimensional plastic model with photo hardening polymer Hideo Kodama Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute. 3-24 Rokuban-cho Atsuta-ku. Nagoya 456. Japan Citation: Review of Scientific Instruments 52, 1770 (1981); doi: 10.1063/1.1136492 View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1136492 View Table of Contents: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/rsi/52/11?ver=pdfcov Published by the AIP Publishing

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http://dougneckersexplores.com/data/documents/1.1136492.pdf Automatic method for fabricating a three dimensional plastic model with photo hardening polymer Hideo Kodama Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute. 3-24 Rokuban-cho Atsuta-ku. Nagoya 456. Japan Citation: Review of Scientific Instruments 52, 1770 (1981); doi: 10.1063/1.1136492 View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1136492 View Table of Contents: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/rsi/52/11?ver=pdfcov Published by the AIP Publishing

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The University of Texas at Austin’s Mechanical Engineering Department (UT ME). http://www.me.utexas.edu/news/2012/0712_sls_history.php#ch4

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http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/8053/Boeing-and-Lotus-Join-Forces-to-Advance-AM-Processes-and-Materials. aspx Boeing and Lotus Join Forces to Advance AM Processes and Materials Kyle Maxey posted on July 16, 2014 5

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Dr. Yong Huang, Professor, University of Florida http://mtrc.mae.ufl.edu/huang.php

Dr. Ming C. Leu Keith and Pat Bailey Professor Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Missouri University of Science and Technology

http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014

http://www.optomec.com

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http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2004/december/ts_sf03.html Boeing engineers and technologists are constantly developing better ways to design and make products. STORY BY WILLIAM COLE | PHOTOS BY BOB FERGUSON

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http://www.wohlersassociates.com

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Additive manufacturing The Economist .com Solid print http://www.economist.com/node/21552892 Making things with a 3D printer changes the rules of manufacturing Apr 21st 2012 | From the print edition

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http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 https://www.nae.edu/Publications/Bridge/57865/58467.aspx NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERNG Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace: Examples and Research Outlook Author: Brett Lyons Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the production of aerospace and defense components.

 http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21576626-additive-manufacturing-growing-apace-china-new-brick-great-wall

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ONR MMowgli Project https://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu/en_GB/am

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ONR MMowgli Project https://portal.mmowgli.nps.edu/en_GB/am

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/05/05/meet-the-liberator-test-firing-the-worlds-first-fully-3d-printed-gun/2/

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/business/a-3-d-printed-car-ready-for-the-road.html?_r=0 A 3-D Printed Car, Ready for the Road JAN. 15, 2015

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University of California Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation SITC Bulletin Analysis May 2013 Additive Manufacturing in China: Threats, Opportunities, and Developments (Part 1) Eric ANDERSON Research Analyst IGCC http://igcc.ucsd.edu/assets/001/504632.pdf

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http://nsfam.mae.ufl.edu/2013NSFAMWorkshopReport.pdf  Frontiers of Additive Manufacturing Research and Education An NSF Additive Manufacturing Workshop Report July 11 and 12, 2013 Yong Huang Ming C. Leu March 2014 16 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


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Defence Industry Reports – Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development – Paragon  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development

Defence Industry Reports – Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development – Paragon  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Rapid Prototyping Services for Military Product Development