Dako99, via Wikimedia Commons
This year's TCT Show + Personalize is truly committed to demonstrating the entire 3D printing industry spectrum 'from hackerspace to aerospace' when it opens its doors to the industry and visitors on September 25th and 26th this year.
The aerospace industry has featured prominently at past TCT Show events and 2013's incarnation of the industry-leading expo is not going to be any different. The Show promises a wide range of exhibitions showcasing the very latest the sector has to offer in terms of how additive manufacturing technologies have been applied in the sector - a subject TCT Magazine has been following with great interest as the significance of additive manufacturing's role in aerospace has increased.
Not only is aerospace synonymous with cutting-edge technology, but in the UK and further afield governments are boosting the sector by supporting it financially in a bid to improve education, training, and research and development. In June, the Government announced a £90 million cash boost to the industry to support small to medium-sized businesses on the supply chain; the first initiative utilising some of the £2 billion joint Government and industry kitty dedicated to supporting the Aerospace Technology Institute.
One of the biggest aerospace and defence giants in the world is EADS, which has joined forces with 3D printing companies in order to realise complex concepts. One such company that has worked in partnership with EADS is SLM Solutions, which signed a cooperation agreement with EADS Innovation Works in February of this year for research and development purposes.
3T RPD is another TCT Show + Personalize exhibitor that has made inroads in the aerospace industry, showcasing its Concept Rotor Blade for the first time in Paris in June.
CEO of 3T Dr Ian Halliday stated: "Additive manufacturing technology offers the aerospace industry many opportunities that traditional, subtractive manufacturing prohibits. We see aerospace as a growing user of additive manufacturing. We want aerospace professionals to see the potential and be inspired to design truly ground breaking parts that will revolutionise the aerospace industry."
In addition to physical 3D printing, other technologies that have emerged out of the so-called 3D revolution such as 3D scanning are being applied in the aerospace industry. FARO has already established itself as a key player in the market, with its portable CMMs including measuring arms and laser trackers assisting companies with highly accurate alignment, part inspection, modeling and surface analysis.
Industry giant Renishaw is also a key example of how additive manufacturing and related technologies are being applied in the aerospace sector, with the company boasting high performance hardware and software products for coordinate measuring machines specifically designed for aiding measuring and manufacturing aerospace blades.
And it is not just on the exhibitor stands that aerospace will be represented, with industry giants such as Boeing, Raytheon Systems, GKN Aerospace and Selex already registered to attend the September 25th-26th event at the NEC in Birmingham.