By Dan Catchpole
August 20, 2018, © Leeham News: There is a fundamental tension in aerospace’s DNA.
It has been there since Kitty Hawk: Balancing the hunger to push technological boundaries with the desire to stay safe.
The Wright Flyer only flew after years of painstakingly testing airframes and engines. That tension between being bold and being safe is evident today in commercial aerospace’s adoption of additive manufacturing.
Just about every major player in the aerospace industry is exploring additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Most of the integration has been at the margins. The technology is still young enough that there is no clear leader in its application to aerospace. Everyone is trying to find how to get the most from it.