Achieving significant savings with additive manufactured tooling and prototypes.
GKN Aerospace (GKN) is a leading multi-technology tier one aerospace supplier, serving over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers. In the last 30 years, the GKN Aerospace team has also earned a reputation as a leader in additive manufacturing technology for the commercial, military and space markets.
The team at the company’s Filton manufacturing site is responsible for producing and supplying production tools and prototypes to multiple areas of the business. When faced with the need to reduce costly production line downtime, as well as deliver the most fully- functional, ultra-realistic prototypes possible, GKN’s additive manufacturing polymer specialist, Rachel Trimble, turned to 3D printing. Trimble believes the technology is a solution that could meet both objectives as well as prepare GKN for the future.
3D printed tooling produced on one of GKN Aerospace’s 3D printers.
Reducing costly production downtime with 3D printed tools.
Examples of 3D printed fixtures that are uneconomical or impossible to make with other manufacturing methods.
Ultra-realistic, fully-functional prototypes.
“In a matter of hours, we were able to produce a prototype of this windscreen housing on the Fortus 900mc,” said Trimble.
“The prototype produced was so realistic and so accurate that the launch team was not only able to go ahead with the event but the feedback received confirmed that the 3D printed housing was almost indistinguishable from the real thing.”
3D printed tooling.
To the future.
This small tool enables GKN to quickly cut new masks to the correct size and enables several parts to be processed at once.