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3D printing on the new XB-1 supersonic surface has reduced the cost of a part by 98%

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Boom Supersonic, the company responsible for designing the new fastest commercial supersonic aircraft in history, has managed to cut the cost and time of making some of the parts that helped create its prototype XB-1 aircraft to significantly reduce the use of 3D printing technology.

XB-1, the supersonic prototype of the Boom Supersonic

The decision to 3D print was based on the company’s need to conduct tests for some requirements of the XB-1’s J85 engines, including back pressure tests. In order to be able to carry out this test, the compressed air sucked in in the engine area had to be diverted through a series of channels.

However, making these tubes using traditional aluminum bar machining would take up to seven weeks and cost around $ 9,000 (R $ 50,000), a high value with a very long turnaround time.

For example, the company, which currently owns three Stratasys 3D printers, an F370 ™, a Fortus 450mc ™ and an F900 ™, with FDM® additive manufacturing, managed to create the pipelines in 14 hours for US $ 150 (R $ 840) only ), a saving of 98%.

In this case, instead of machining the parts, Boom Supersonic used 3D technology to create the channels with ULTEM ™ 1010 heat-resistant resin.

Ducts made by 3D printing for the XB-1 – Image: Stratasys Disclosure

Additive manufacturing technology gave Boom the ability to produce the channels quickly, avoiding the long manufacturing time of typical machining and reducing material costs as the technology only uses the amount needed to build the part. In addition, with additive manufacturing, the company has removed the design constraints associated with machining, giving engineers the freedom to get the ideal duct design.

The XB-1, a supersonic one-third the size of the overture – a project that aims to be the fastest airliner in the world – was recently unveiled to the public and will make its first flight to test new travel technologies next year efficient, safe and that will redefine the meaning of flying.

Stratasys information

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