As aeronautical companies work tirelessly to fly farther and faster, engineers are looking for new ways to reduce part count and fly-to-weight ratios through more economical manufacturing.

Enter: Direct Metal Printing (DMP), which allows aerospace designers and manufacturers to print full end-use assemblies and highly complex parts, and it's already being used  to great effect. In fact, a research team from Northwestern University led by Prof. Eric Masanet confirmed just how beneficial these direct metal parts are to the industry in a report authored by www.3ders.com:

“Among other significant conclusions drawn by the team include that when 3D printing is used in the creation of metal parts, manufacturing waste and total part weight drop dramatically,” says Masanet. “The result is both fuel and money saved - which ultimately also leads to a decrease in carbon emissions.“ 

It’s an exciting time for Direct Metal Printing in the aerospace industry. The process opens up new potential in weight reduction, cost savings in both manufacture and fuel, and improvements in propulsion equipment. We had a fantastic time sharing these technological breakthroughs at the recent Paris Air Show, where the opportunities for DMP caused quite a stir. (Image right: Cutout of an in-space satellite engine combustion chamber 3D printed in metal.) 

In addition to our ProX line of metal 3D printers, DMP is accessible via our on-demand, cloud-based manufacturing service, Quickparts, which any aircraft designer can use, whether for a one-off piece or a longer production run. Backed by unlimited complexity of the most advanced additive manufacturing technologies and the manufacturing expertise required for aerospace projects, Quickparts can get the job done. Click here to find out more.