A Flying Cruise Liner In The Near Future, Thanks to 3D Printing ?

The 3D printing / additive manufacturing industry continues to grow at a rapid rate.

As the technology behind 3D printers advance, so too does the the possibilities of what the technology can be used for. For decades, large corporations within the automobile and aerospace industries have been using 3D printers to create rapid prototypes of potential future products, but in the past few years we have begun to see an expansion within these companies, where they have begun to utilize 3D printers for the creation of end-use products.

With the influx of 3D printers, capable of printing metal objects, via direct laser sintering technology, comes the possibility to create one-off custom products. These products can be identical to a previous model, a slightly modified iteration, or an entirely new product altogether. This is where 3D printing has succeeded in areas where traditional injection molding techniques have failed.

One company which has been at the forefront of advancing 3D printing technology for large corporations and academia, is Dassault Systèmes (DASTY.PK). With over 190,000 enterprise customers and 3,500 partners, and with software packages such as SolidWorks, and NetVibes to call their own, the company has been a goto source for 3D printing related software.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is what the company hangs their hat on, a platform which is an end-to-end solution for various companies, providing the software necessary for design & engineering, manufacturing & production, simulation, governance & lifecycle, 3D design experience for professionals, and more.

Dassault Systèmes has announced that they have formed a partnership with French technology firm, Safran to develop expertise in the virtual validation of the additive manufacturing process, using their own 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Safran is a company that exhibits expertise in various innovative technologies. They are a multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component, and security company, headquartered in Paris, France. This partnership will look into developing a digital solution for the 3D printing of aerospace engine parts.

The two companies will look to address the upstream material design as well as the downstream manufacturing processes, as well as provide testing to ensure continuity within the 3D printing of engine parts.

In the end, the two companies hope to use 3D printing to ultimately reduce time of production, and increase product performance, while reducing product weight and the impact that manufacturing these parts has on the environment. Because 3D printing is an additive process, much less waste is created. At the same time, 3D printing allows for much more intricate geometries within the parts themselves, helping reduce weight while increasing strength and durability.

It should be interesting to see how this partnership works out and how these companies grow over the coming months and years ahead. 3D printing within the aerospace industry will certain continue to evolve. The question that only remains is, “how quickly will this evolution process take?”. Only time will tell.

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