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Validating complex aerospace parts with 3D scanning saves in process time

Aerospace is one of the leading industries that utilize advanced manufacturing techniques. This is mainly due to the unique design challenges that exist when engineering an aircraft or spacecraft. Materials must be strong, light-weight and resistant to corrosion as well as being able to perform in extreme temperatures. Part designs must be designed for strength while keeping weights down to a minimum. This type of design makes manufacturing of complex components very difficult. Advanced manufacturing methods such as additive manufacturing give us a means to manufacture these complex parts and focus on design for function as opposed to design for manufacture.

Advanced Manufacturing

One of the downsides to manufacturing these highly detailed and complex parts is that verifying them can be a challenge. More complex holding fixtures are required along with complex CMM programs in order to measure and validate these parts. In some cases these parts have features that cannot be measured using traditional metrology techniques. The cost of the fixtures and time associated with measuring these parts can easily drive projects above budget.

3D scan-based inspection is the logical solution for this problem. Using metrology grade scanners that can measure features in the sub-millimeter range and hold an accuracy of up to 10 microns can be used to quickly and easily measure these parts. The cost of scanning is far less than the cost of developing and manufacturing complex check fixtures. Complex features can quickly and easily be measured in 3D space and compared to original CAD in order to verify datum structures, GD&T and linear dimensions. Part validation using 3D scanning is a fast, cost-effective method that prevents part complexity from driving the cost of inspection up.

For more information about Applied Precision and our 3D services, contact us today.