Aerosud Innovation & Technology Centre (Aerosud ITC) has for some years now been involved in the building of the world’s largest and fastest Additive Manufacturing (AM) system that can print Titanium parts from powder. The project, named Aeroswift, is a collaborative project between Aerosud ITC and the CSIR National Laser Centre and is being funded by the Department of Science and Technology.
The objective of Aeroswift is to design and construct a high speed, large area, laser-based additive manufacturing platform. The system is unique in the world and will shift the boundaries of additive manufacturing technology to include large components and to build at high forming speeds. The technology will enable the manufacturing of large titanium aerospace parts directly from powder.
The Aeroswift technology, developed over the last number of years, started producing its first test parts in 2016. The technology is delivering on expectations of producing high quality material at improved production rates. The first titanium parts produced on the Aeroswift machine will undergo flight testing in 2017 on the South African developed aircraft, AHRLAC www.ahrlac.com.
Aerosud Aviation is actively involved in this exciting new technology and has been working at establishing the capability to design for additive manufacturing. The process under development is defined by a design cycle process which incorporates 6 key tasks:
Internal features and Surfacing
Convert back to solid
Finite Element Modeling
The process was benchmarked against a technology demonstrator project, the CFRTP rudder, where two hinge fittings were designed and manufactured by additive manufacturing in titanium. The project yielded two fittings that were designed by the AM process. Key features of the Aerosud AM design capabilities are:
Part count reduction: multi part assemblies reducing to single parts
Structural optimization and validation
Prismatic design concepts: Optimized weight to ratio components that are post machined to desired tolerance and finishing with minimal material wastage.
Biomimetic design concepts: mimics natural occurring structural aspects, efficient strength to weight ratios are attained.
Manufacturability validation on both printability and machinability validation of the design concepts.
Conversion of the engineering data back to solid geometry capability
Volumetrically optimized design conceptualization
Original design optimisation conceptualization
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