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EOS Offers Powder-to-Product Manufacturing with Laser Sintering for Unmanned Systems

By DE Editors

Complex aircraft components will be on display at EOS booth #3407 at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America exhibition, August 24-27 in Denver.

EOS customer Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems (NWUAV) is exhibiting a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering system from EOS, as well as a complete unmanned vehicle, at booth #1214. Northwest Rapid Manufacturing, part of the Northwest UAV family of companies, manufactures production parts and prototypes for NWUAV using its EOSINT P 390 and P 730 equipment.   Together, the companies provide parts and assemblies including engine and cooling components for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made by Insitu, Inc., and others.

Manufacturers of UAVs face stringent demands, both for part requirements and delivery schedules, says Alexander Dick, vice president of Laser-Sintering Operations at Northwest Rapid. EOS laser-sintering equipment enables us to meet tight tolerances, ensure component strength and performance, and deliver parts on or before deadlines.

Other EOS customers at the show are Paramount PDS (Booth #1618), who will exhibit plastic UAV parts created with an EOSINT P 730; Morris Technologies, Inc., (Booth #2729), who will display titanium aerospace components and prototypes created with direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS); and Solid Concepts (Booth #1226), who is featuring SLS-manufactured flight structures for Aerotonomy s new Cruise-Efficient ESTOL research aircraft. In addition to the aircraft s form-fitted seven-gallon fuel tank, all of the primary structures that enable the advanced high-lift technologies such as leading-edge blowing, circulation-control flaps, and airflow plenums were manufactured with EOS laser-sintering equipment. Solid Concepts manufactures plastic laser-sintered aerospace parts from a wide range of applications and materials.

Plastic and metal laser-sintering are already widespread in UAV and other aerospace applications. The technology requires no tooling, thereby reducing upfront times and costs.

On any given UAV system, once its customer and field use changes, the only features that stay the same may be the frame and most of the fuselage, says Frederick Claus, business development manager at Solid Concepts. The manufacturing flexibility and speed of laser-sintering have proved their worth in this industry time and again.

Among the materials currently available for laser-sintering of UAV components are:

  • Several polyamides (including a flame-retardant material)
  • EOS PEEK HP3 (a high-temperature thermoplastic polymer)
  • Titanium
  • Cobalt chrome
  • IN718 (a nickel-chromium super alloy)

Additional materials for UAV and other aerospace applications are in development.

For more information, visit EOS.

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DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.