3ders.org - Additive manufacturing comes to the Israel Air Force (IAF) with new 3D printer | 3D Printer News & 3D Printing News

July 31, 2015 | By Simon

As we’ve previously seen, additive manufacturing has had a dramatic impact on the aerospace industry within the past year thanks to more companies switching over from traditional manufacturing processes in favor of a more customizable, low-cost and ultimately, faster method.  

While many of these companies began using additive manufacturing very selectively in an R&D environment, the technology has since expanded out of the lab and is currently being used to manufacture everything from engine components to interior passenger cabin parts.  More recently, a number of international government agencies have been taking a closer look at the technology and are starting to include 3D printed parts into their various aircraft - just six months ago, the British Royal Air Force made history when one of their Tornado fighter jets took off with 3D printed replacement parts.

Now, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has announced that they will be joining the 3D printing revolution and have purchased an industrial-scale 3D printer from an undisclosed US 3D printer manufacturer to begin producing a number of aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) components using additive manufacturing.  

Although the IAF will start by producing plastic-based 3D prints up to one meter in length, a later stage of their additive manufacturing plan includes a switch over to producing metal parts.   

"We've conducted experiments on the ground with the parts that were printed and installed onto the planes, and it was successful," explained a senior IAF officer.

"We also got engine parts that were printed, and in the 3D era we could, in the future, print generators for planes, bearings or a full engine for an aircraft, with the pistons already inside. The vision is, of course, to print an entire plane."

While we’re still a ways off from being able to 3D print an entire plane - particularly one with a pre-assembled engine - today’s available technologies are nonetheless a huge improvement over traditional fabrication methods.  

"This move will quickly return the investment," he added. "The main advantage of the printer is that you are no longer limited in geometry. For example, when you want to create a space inside a block of aluminum or a ring inside a ring. In addition, we will no longer need to keep storerooms full of spare parts. Missing a part? Print it within hours."

In addition to the 3D printer, the IAF has also purchased a robot to serve alongside existing engineers and technicians that can independently disassemble highly-complex sub-assemblies that make up the fighter jets.  Currently, it takes a team of five soldiers over four days to disassembled a wing assembly that consists of over 3,000 screws.  The new robot will be able to - among other things - perform the same operation within hours.  

Whether or not they’re producing UAV or actual aircraft parts, it’s clear that the IAF are well-versed on the next-generation of aerospace design and manufacturing.  Earlier this year, a group of engineers from Russia’s Luch design bureau showcased an unmanned aerial vehicle entirely built using 3D printing over the course of just two months.    

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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Vince Salvatore wrote at 8/22/2015 10:50:19 PM:

SPI just introduced an incredible new low light low - lux night vision HD camera that work incredibly in day and night all in a single cmos FPA sensor. The x26 HFIS camera will change the way unmanned vehicles image. The full HD full frame rate 60 hz TV rate camera offers unbelievable low light sensitivity and performance at extremely low light conditions never seen before anywhere. The camera is a single solution to a wide variety of demanding imaging needs, the ultra high quantum efficiency in the x26 HFIS which stands for Hyper Fideliy Intensified Sensor pieces through the darkness and offers day like images in starlight conditions. Traditional night vision cameras fail, and get extremely grainy/noisy in low lux settings, the x26 works flawlessly and does not slow down the frame rate when encountering very dark environments. Below is a link to the website illustrating sample imagery and videos, http://www.x20.org/x26-hyper-fidelity-intensified-sensor-hfis/

Vince Salvatore wrote at 8/22/2015 10:49:19 PM:

SPI just introduced an incredible new low light low - lux night vision HD camera that work incredibly in day and night all in a single cmos FPA sensor. The x26 HFIS camera will change the way unmanned vehicles image. The full HD full frame rate 60 hz TV rate camera offers unbelievable low light sensitivity and performance at extremely low light conditions never seen before anywhere. The camera is a single solution to a wide variety of demanding imaging needs, the ultra high quantum efficiency in the x26 HFIS which stands for Hyper Fideliy Intensified Sensor pieces through the darkness and offers day like images in starlight conditions. Traditional night vision cameras fail, and get extremely grainy/noisy in low lux settings, the x26 works flawlessly and does not slow down the frame rate when encountering very dark environments. Below is a link to the website illustrating sample imagery and videos, http://www.x20.org/x26-hyper-fidelity-intensified-sensor-hfis/

JUlio wrote at 8/3/2015 8:33:45 PM:

Am Yisrael Jai



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