Many independent manufacturers in the field are capable of developing new technology to serve their clients for the better. The recent fiasco with the latest Boeing model across the world is the strongest evidence that rapid prototyping services need to do better when it comes to the creation of new technology and the improvement of parts.
A recent development by an independent manufacturer was branded “Movinglight Technology.” The patent seems to explain how manufacturing services could use DLP processes to use UV rays to increase the printing speed on 3D prototypes while retaining high levels of quality. It’s still unknown if the specs will be full in the open for other companies to use.
How does this new Tech Work?
Our understanding of the public patent is not 100% certain. So far the most noticeable details are that there seems to be a directed energy intake that relies heavily on a robot that aims using a metal deposition head. The finished product is a print done in a chamber of inert gas using heavy materials such as metal. The raw material is placed one layer at a time until a net-shaped object is finished in an estimated time of two hours.
At first sight, it sounds impressive.The name for such a tech so far seems to be “Rapid Additive Forging technology.” So far it seems to be exclusive to metals such as titanium, a material that is commonly used to manufacture components for aircrafts. This industry does use a lot of plastic parts, but as you can probably guess a great deal of the plane is still made of metal to the core. Manufacturing metals are still expensive, but RAF tech is a way to bring down costs.
The problem with the current methods is that a lot of raw metal is lost during manufacturing. The RAF tech uses just what it needs and creates prototypes out of the blue in the same materials as the finished product with a quicker output. As is customary, the new manufacturing process is presented with a load of new features including new 3D printers and new robot arms that can handle these types of tasks while enduring the high pressures required by the unique atmosphere to have this manufacturing method up and running.
RAF tech could probably be a way to fix the many problems faced by the aeronautical industry. The people at Boeing certainly need to rethink their manufacturing strategy to bring a new product to the table and leave the disaster that has been 2018 behind.