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Aircraft part substitution via additive manufacturing: design, simulation, fabrication and testing

Alberto Boschetto (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Luana Bottini (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Valerio Cardini (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Marco Eugeni (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Paolo Gaudenzi (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Francesco Veniali (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 2 June 2021

Issue publication date: 14 July 2021

243

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a case study focused on the substitution through selective laser melting of a part typically fabricated by traditional manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

To exploit the additive manufacturing (AM) advantages, the retrieving of the reconfiguration part data was provided, the process strategies by means of the interchange file handling and pre and post-processing were investigated and a re-design of the part was developed. Finally, the fabricated part was tested and analyzed.

Findings

Results claimed that a reconfiguration of the manufacturing framework plays an important role at each step of the process otherwise many AM benefits can be lost. In the paper, a set of recommendations, suggestions and hints regarding the implementation of AM for part substitutions is provided.

Research limitations/implications

Many aspects of the AM adoption, such as the production cost, energy consumption, sustainability and production volume, depend upon the geometry, batch size and other impactful factors, and thus they need to be studied in a case-by-case manner.

Practical implications

The proposed approaches have the concrete aim to address industrial resources toward the maximization of AM benefits in part substituting.

Originality/value

In this paper, the substitution of a part is fully undertaken from the early data collection to the manufactured part testing providing integrated approaches for each process step.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the Italian Air Force research center “Centro Sperimentale Volo” for making available the RSV and RTMAS personnel to cooperate to the realization of the new MB-339CD stand-by-compass element and making possible to make it “airborne”. The authors wish to thank MSC Software© for making available the software MSC Simufact Additive© within a long-term collaboration with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Sapienza University of Rome.

Citation

Boschetto, A., Bottini, L., Cardini, V., Eugeni, M., Gaudenzi, P. and Veniali, F. (2021), "Aircraft part substitution via additive manufacturing: design, simulation, fabrication and testing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 995-1009. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-06-2020-0140

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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