3D printing is making significant difference in manufacturing industry by turning put to be a game changer. It is similar to a photocopier machine that can reproduce an exact replica reliably, quickly, and cheaply. 3D printers can make machine components and this technology is very relevant to aerospace because cost and weight are key factors. It was reported that the 3D printing market of aerospace and defense will grow from $1.56 to $5.9 billion by 2026. NASA recognized the benefits of additive manufacturing in advance by making use of a process known as laser engineered net shaping (LENS). This technology was precise but slow; today’s 3D printers can counter this and easily produce parts that are complex when compared to traditional methods. Printed parts are usually stronger and lighter than the parts that are produced from a conventional manufacturing method.
Airbus forecasted that the inventory levels can be kept minimum by printing replacement components on demand. This method will reduce the cost and reduce downtime significantly. Major aviation manufacturers are impressed by the strong lightweight components, Lockheed Martin is now working with Arconic to create new processes for manufacturing which also includes metal 3D printing. The approval process might’ve slowed down the momentum of the 3D printing industry but it totally acceptable as far as safety is concerned for aerospace and aviation.