3D Printing

Additive/Aerospace Summit Preview

Everyone’s calling it “The Must-Attend Business Event for Additive Fabrication Servicing the Aero-Defense Value Chain!” Ok, so that’s what the promotional materials are calling it, but the Additive/Aerospace Summit taking place in Los Angeles from October 16-18 does look exciting.  The event is made up of a half-day workshop succeeded by two full days of speakers and panels intended to provide members of the aerospace and additive manufacturing (AM) industries an opportunity to network and learn about how 3D printing can affect the production of aerospace and defense equipment.

leap AerospaceAs AM is now visibly penetrating the aerospace sector — there have been years of historical developments, mostly behind closed doors — there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved, such as the development of standards and certifications for materials, the funding of AM projects and how to better improve 3D printing processes. The Additive/Aerospace Summit brings government officials from the Department of Defense, heads of equipment manufacturers – like GE, Boeing, Pratt Whitney and Northrop Grumman – R&D labs from top universities, materials and software providers, and fabrication shops together to address these issues in an effort to enable the full integration of 3D printing into the aerospace and defense supply chains.

Additive aerospace summit government representativesFirst, there’s the half-day workshop series, which has industry leaders informing attendees on developments within the field of 3D printing as it relates to aerospace production. The workshops will include important topics such as closed-loop control, which has been, so far, somewhat elusive in additive manufacturing. Without machines that can self-correct, repeatability and reliability are extremely difficult to achieve and, in the production of jet engine components, these factors are essential. Additionally, there will be a number of workshops surrounding the 3D printing of metal parts led by such leading researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Penn State, and the NASA Langley Research Center.

Then, on the following two days, we’ll have a chance to hear from some truly remarkable projects and important topics facing the intersection of the 3D printing and aerospace industries.  The first morning will begin with a series of keynotes from leading US government agencies, NASA, DARPA, and the US Navy, that will outline how the US is developing 3D printing technologies for use in the US military. Afterwards, there will be a number of panels tackling problems of integrating AM into existing manufacturing supply chains, featuring a number of industry leaders such as Sigma Labs, LayerWise and Harvest Technologies.

Additive aerospace summit featured oemsThe following day promises more exciting topics, particularly if you’re excited by talk of jet propulsion and 3D printing ceramics. The morning will begin with presentations from leaders of NASA on how selective laser melting is allowing for the production of safer, higher quality parts that make space travel cheaper and more efficient.  The afternoon will include an address from both Litholz GmbH and Ceralink Inc. on the difficulties and advantages presented by the additive manufacturing of ceramics.  Finally, the day will end with a panel on how 3D printing will benefit California, in particular, with panelists like USC’s Behrokh Khoshnevis (famed house printer) discussing how the technology can be incorporated into the state’s workforce training and economic development.

The entire summit will be filled with some of the most important figures in aerospace, defense, and 3D printing. If you’ve got the time and the money and you care about your company’s future in the aerospace and additive manufacturing supply chains, you won’t want to miss it.

Source: Infocast, Inc.