3D Printing, CNC Machining and injection moulding are technologies with the power to massively speed up product development times.

ProtoLabs is a company which works with aerospace companies using all three technologies and is familiar with the challenges faced by the sector.

Anastasis Pantelis, Application Engineer for ProtoLabs, said the company even use its technologies to turn around manufacturing processes in one day. He said: “We would start with having a tool from one day, up to 15 for an actual aluminium tool and we can use customers, especially within the demanding industry, such as aerospace, we can have bridge tooling before the final tools, the production tools are ready. So, we can cover everything on the prototype and before launching the product.”

Advanced technologies helps companies move to production faster

Pantelis said one of the main hurdles was getting aerospace and defence companies to realise the speed and operational benefits that could be gained through adopting advanced manufacturing technologies. He said: “The main thing is that they can start having real products with a very good mechanical properties, first time, starting with prototypes, but again, they can move to the actual production very fast. At the same time, there is a challenge and continuity on developing the certification because aerospace industry requires specific certifications, but all of it is a moving towards the best possible way.”