Leadership in Technology: Using 3D Printing in Aerospace Part Production

By George Allman on 29 December, 2020

Fortus 380 and 450 (1) Read about how Liberty Electronics has applied its expertise in 3D printing to new services for their customers. 

Liberty Electronics has been at the forefront of 3D printing since the technology became commercially available, and has been recognized for driving innovation in a number of areas.  From developing novel applications to partnering with Stratasys in BETA testing, Liberty has been a leader in the use of this emerging technology.

As a contract manufacturer in the EMS industry, most of the work that Liberty does is build-to-print. For Liberty, this means assemblies – cable assemblies, wire harnesses, and electrical box builds.  But thanks to hard-earned 3D printing expertise, Liberty is now able to serve customers in a new way.

A customer had a requirement for a 3D-printed part for a missile application.  The schedule was tight.  The part had to be manufactured using a specific 3D-printed material at a specified density.  The manufacturer of course had to be approved and qualified, and ITAR-registered and compliant.  Liberty Electronics was a natural fit for this new requirement.

First, Liberty was able to seamlessly process the customer’s CAD model in SolidWorks.  The model was then processed by Liberty using Stratasys Insight software.  First articles were produced and then accepted and approved by the customer.  Liberty was authorized to immediately begin production using the Stratasys 450ms system.  

The results have been impressive.  In terms of cost, the 3D-printed parts came in at 25% of the cost of alternate manufacturing methods.  Lead-times also decreased significantly.  

As a result of this successful program, Liberty can now offer to build-to-print 3D-printed production parts to other customers, allowing them to reap the same benefits.  

Topics: Operational Efficiency, Innovation, Manufacturing, Materials Performance, Design, Aerospace, Defense

Author: George Allman

George Allman is a Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor that has been with Liberty for 21 years. He works primarily in process and fixture development within Liberty’s Mil/Aero Business unit, and also helps to support new business growth and development in various capacities. He is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, serves as an advisor/mentor to local STEM student groups, and is a frequent speaker and contributor at various events within the Additive Manufacturing community.
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