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Leveraging Additive Manufacturing for Low-Volume, Out-of-Production Spare Parts

Thomas G. Reilly, Bell Textron Inc.

October 10, 2020

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0076-2020-16310

Abstract:
Additive Manufacturing (AM) and/or 3-D printing has been used for decades for fabrication of prototyping parts to validate design, geometries and kinematics. The ability to rapidly “grow” one-off and low-volume parts for evaluation and iterative design development is a perfect use of AM processes. As AM materials and machines advance, the repeatability, reproducibility and quality are maturing. Today, AM parts are moving into limited production applications with opportunity for future design features, competitive pricing, lower weight through design optimization, and potential for “on-demand” deliveries. The vast majority of AM parts remain limited to development and prototype phases of a program. As production ramps up, production part fabrications transition to more traditional processes. The higher quantities and schedule demand of production as well as conformity with certified materials and processes still favor traditional manufacturing methods. However, as production ends and the product moves fully into a sustainment phase, the demand for parts plummets (as shown in Figure 1) and subsequent fabrication schedules are dependent on forecasts that are often overwhelmed by “surprise” spares orders. In the latter part of the product life cycle, high rate, production-driven manufacturing processes may no longer be optimal and an alternative that permits a transition back to prototyping methods and one-off “on-demand” fabrication is needed.


Leveraging Additive Manufacturing for Low-Volume, Out-of-Production Spare Parts

  • Presented at Forum 76 - Best Paper for this session
  • 8 pages
  • SKU # : F-0076-2020-16310
  • Your Price : $30.00
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Leveraging Additive Manufacturing for Low-Volume, Out-of-Production Spare Parts

Authors / Details: Thomas G. Reilly, Bell Textron Inc.