3d printing of aircraft aluminum possible

apparently using a proccess they don’t really describe, you can 3d print super strong aluminum now.

I think I found it-

I actually just happened to talk with someone the other day that described this process. Their brother helped make a part for NASA using this method. It uses powder to print in 3D layer by layer. Apparently it can take weeks or months to make just one part this way, but no other process can make some of those intricate pieces and have them still be so durable. From what I gathered, this technology is the only way space agencies will be able to effectively produce the parts they need in the future.

I actually didn’t watch the video first lol just saw the article, but yeah it’s the same process. The one thing they don’t talk about is how long it really takes. The machines are running for huge periods of time just to make one part, which I think is what this company has or is improving upon to make the process faster.

Yes, engineers have developed a technique for successfully 3D printing high-strength aluminum alloys—including types Al7075 and Al6061—that opens the door to additive manufacturing of engineering-relevant alloys. And it’s very cool.

They will have to put the resulting prints through a huge battery of strength and durability tests before they use the tech. to make entire planes (otherwise, the endless lawsuits that follow will bankrupt whatever company adopts it, so don’t count on this being widespread for a while).

a honeycomb mesh of aluminum that is reinforced with carbon fiber or nanotubes while printing could lead to materials 10x stronger and lighter.

But the printers would first need to make it far faster and cheaper to put an airplane together (compared to current methods of milling, welding, ect…) before they are adopted on a massive scale.

According to one person in this thread, this is far from the case right now (but 3D printing technology is always evolving and the process will likely see major speedups).

I wonder if one could combine this induction forge with a 3d printer?

Yes my coworkers 3d printed aircraft landing gear parts and tools. They 3d printed a wrench and I held the thing and try hitting it againts a metal pipe. The thing is solid.

I’ll withhold judgment on this one, but I’m skeptical.

Any 3D-printed object is necessarily “spatter-formed” out of particulate materials. Whereas materials are milled out of rolled metal stock, which by definition has a “grain.” This grain determines the piece’s ability to handle stresses – twists, bends, and shears – along various axes. Machinists, who today are the ones devising programs for automated milling and grinding machines, still must take these factors into account. A 3D-printed object would have no such grain and therefore might be uniformly weaker … perhaps, much weaker. So, every good innovation always comes with a price.

Efforts to produce a “3D-printed firearm,” for example, are wrestling with the problem of reliably creating a barrel-tube that does not rupture, explode, or simply deform with repeated use under field conditions and with less-than-trivial ammunition.

In fact, “reliability and consistency, in general,” is proving to be a problem with 3D-printing at its present nascent state of development. “Whacking a wrench against a metal pipe and hearing it ‘clang’” is really not a test: not good enough. “We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”