Manufacturing News of Note: March 2019
Orbex contains largest single-piece rocket engine to be made with additive manufacturing, Absolute Machine Tools is owned by the employees, and other industry news.
Orbex, a U.K.-based spaceflight company, has introduced what is being called the world’s largest metal rocket engine to be 3D printed in a single piece using the SLM Solutions SLM800.
Orbex develops small satellite launch vehicles, and the 3D-printed engine part was produced specifically for Prime, a supposedly environmentally friendly rocket. The launcher uses only 100-percent renewable fuel to cut carbon emissions by 90 percent. A zero-shock staging and payload separation eliminates orbital debris. The launcher was design-optimized for selective laser melting, an additive manufacturing (AM) process, producing a structure 30 percent lighter and 20 percent more efficient than other launch vehicles in its category. Orbex aerospace engineers partnered closely with the applications engineering team at SLM Solutions headquarters in Lübeck, Germany, to ensure success transferring the design into selective laser melting production—a feat that required the partnership of the equipment provider due to the complexity and size of the component. Read More.
Here is some more news to note:
- Absolute Machine Tools Now Employee Owned – Among other things, the move of ownership to an ESOP is expected to relieve the company’s federal tax burden, improve customer service and retain workers.
- Mazak to Host May Technology Event in Illinois – The event will also be the site of the Technology & Manufacturing Association’s Precision Machining Competition for Illinois high school students
- Verisurf Develops Inspection Package for Faster NIMS Certification – The NIMS Precision Part Inspection (PPI) package was developed to support the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification testing process.
- MPT Expo (Formerly Gear Expo) Announces Show Dates and Conference Topics – More than 300 exhibitors from across the supply chain are expected to fill the show floor, and subject matter experts will be presenting in 45-minute sessions in the conference’s business and technology tracks.
Machining a large 3D-printed part for aerospace composite tooling is fundamentally different than manufacturing the part traditionally. Baker Industries knows this first-hand.
Is additive manufacturing (AM) ready for production scale? The latest issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine highlights manufacturers who are succeeding with 3D printing for production right now.
An engineering modification that would have been impractical or cost-prohibitive in the past is realized on a machine tool performing metal 3D printing and machining in the same cycle.