Reverse engineering of aerospace components utilizing additive manufacturing technology

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Subeshan, Balakrishnan
Abdulaziz, Abdulaziz
Khan, Zeeshan
Uddin, M. Nizam
Rahman, Muhammad M.
Asmatulu, Eylem
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Reverse engineering , Additive manufacturing , 3D printing , Material science , Data capturing , Material extrusion , CAD reconstruction
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Subeshan, B., Abdulaziz, A., Khan, Z., Uddin, M.N., Rahman, M.M., Asmatulu, E. (2022). Reverse Engineering of Aerospace Components Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Technology. In: TMS 2022 151st Annual Meeting & Exhibition Supplemental Proceedings. The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series. Springer, Cham.

Using conventional manufacturing methods for product development typically involves a relatively long lead time and cost, especially for obsolete, worn-out, or broken parts. Reverse engineering is a preferred solution for reproducing obsolete parts and has been increasingly utilized to advance additive manufacturing technology. It is a combined process of laser scanning the obsolete parts where engineering design has become unavailable. These designs are then converted into patterns for sand casting to manufacture three-dimensional (3D) prototypes for further product development. The combination of reverse engineering and additive manufacturing is being utilized to manufacture the pattern for sand casting to produce the final product faster and distribute that to the industry more rapidly. Additive manufacturing technology has had a significant impact on the manufacturing industry throughout the world. There are various application fields where additive manufacturing has had a significant impact, and one of these fields is the aerospace industry. This study presents technologies and methodologies for reverse engineering, illustrated by a stainless-steel lever part from an aircraft control assembly. It involves the reconstruction of part geometry using laser scanning, fabrication of the pattern for sand casting using material extrusion additive manufacturing technology, and reversed part fabrication using sand casting. It was found that the fabrication of patterns directly from reverse-engineered computer-aided design (CAD) data using a suitable additive manufacturing technique provides a reliable and economic path for rapid product development of complicated parts for replacement purposes. The process of reverse engineering comprises of laser scanning, CAD data, and all regular manufacturing steps to make that part.

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