Additive manufacturing—producing parts layer by layer direct from digital models—is moving into aerospace. Three-dimensional printing is widely used for rapid prototyping with polymer materials, but technologies for additive manufacturing with aerospace metals are maturing. Working with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology has developed a technique to produce bladed compressor disks—blisks—using a laser beam to melt nickel- or titanium-based ...


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