Unique, complex aircraft components, many of them impossible to create using traditional manufacturing processes, will be on display at EOS booth #3407 at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America exhibition (August 24-27, Denver, Co.).
A number of EOS customers will be exhibiting parts and components made with EOS laser sintering systems and materials.
–Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems (NWUAV) is exhibiting a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering system, as well as a complete unmanned vehicle, at booth #1214. Northwest Rapid Manufacturing, part of the Northwest UAV family of companies, manufactures production parts and prototypes for NWUAV using its EOSINT P 390 and P 730 equipment. Together, the companies provide parts and assemblies including engine and cooling components for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made by Insitu, Inc., and others. These components are stable in hot environments and are tough, pliable, and robust in harsh conditions such as exposure to fuel. Said Alexander Dick, VP of Laser-Sintering Operations at Northwest Rapid, “Laser-sintering equipment enables us to meet tight tolerances, ensure component strength and performance, and deliver parts on or before deadlines.”
–Paramount PDS (Booth #1618) will exhibit plastic UAV parts created with an EOSINT P 730
–Morris Technologies, Inc., (Booth #2729) who will display titanium aerospace components and prototypes created with direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS)
–Solid Concepts (Booth #1226) is featuring SLS-manufactured flight structures for Aerotonomy’s new Cruise-Efficient ESTOL research aircraft. In addition to the aircraft’s form-fitted seven-gallon fuel tank, all of the primary structures for the high-lift technologies such as blowing, circulation-control flaps, and airflow plenums were manufactured with EOS laser-sintering equipment. Solid Concepts manufactures plastic laser-sintered aerospace parts from a wide range of applications and materials.
Plastic and metal laser-sintering are widespread in UAV and other aerospace applications. In addition to producing durable, lightweight and complex parts, the technology requires no tooling, reducing upfront times and costs and making re-designs and customization easy and affordable.
“On any given UAV system, once its customer and field use changes, the only features that stay the same may be the frame and most of the fuselage,” says Frederick Claus, Business Development Manager at Solid Concepts. “The manufacturing flexibility and speed of laser-sintering have proved their worth in this industry time and again.”
Among the materials currently available for laser-sintering of UAV components are:
· Several polyamides (including a flame-retardant material)
· EOS PEEK HP3 (a high-temperature thermoplastic polymer)
· Cobalt chrome
· IN718 (a nickel-chromium super alloy)
Additional materials for UAV and other aerospace applications are in development.