Honeywell Brings 3D Printing to Life for Visiting Writers

May 24, 2016 | Author: Donald Godfrey

IMD additive manufacturing

About 40 writers from leading aviation trade and business publications and websites visited Honeywell Aerospace recently for a glimpse at current and future technology.

It’s no surprise that one of their stops was the Honeywell Additive Manufacturing Center in Phoenix. After all, Honeywell is a leading innovator when it comes to using these leading-edge 3D printing technologies to build critical parts and tools for research and production products.

It was a pleasure for me to brief the visiting journalists, who came from all over the world, and tell them about the exciting things that Honeywell is doing with this technology. The writers were impressed with our capabilities and asked great questions about what we’re doing and how we’re using additive manufacturing techniques to save time and deliver better and faster solutions for our customers.

For example, we showed them our electron beam melting (EBM) powder bed fusion system and the components produced using this technology. Last year, Honeywell became the first company to use EBM to produce an aerospace component from the nickel-based super alloy Inconel 718. The part we produced was an experimental design for an existing tube used on the Honeywell HTF7000 jet engine.

We also have been incorporating 3D printing of tooling for low-volume, high value castings. Some of these castings are produced with printed sand and others are produced using printed patterns. The technology has helped us shave months from our procurement schedules. Some castings were produced in less than a day, while most were cast in less than a week.

Few companies have embraced additive manufacturing to the same extent as Honeywell. We were the first aerospace company to building 3D printing labs in China, India, Europe, Mexico and the U.S. We patented a novel approach to chemically machine the internal passages of complex, cooled components that were machined using 3D technology. And we were the first to flight test components manufactured with alloy 718.

One of the visiting journalists noted that what we’re doing today seemed like “science fiction just a couple of years ago.” He’s right, of course. But I can’t wait to show him where we’re taking these exciting technologies in the years ahead. 

Donald Godfrey

Donald Godfrey

Donald Godfrey is an engineering fellow at Honeywell Aerospace.

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