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technology for manufacturing less-expensive sailplanes?



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 17th 18, 07:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default technology for manufacturing less-expensive sailplanes?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-a...-idUSKCN1II1LO

"... the world’s first carbon fiber bicycle with 3D-printed frame. .... to demonstrate its design software and printing technology, which it hopes to use to produce parts for bicycles, aircraft, space vehicles and other applications where designers prize the strength and lightness of so-called “composite” carbon fiber parts but are put off by the high-cost and labor-intensive process of making them.
....
Arevo’s technology uses a “deposition head” mounted on a robotic arm to print out the three-dimensional shape of the bicycle frame. The head lays down strands of carbon fiber and melts a thermoplastic material to bind the strands, all in one step.
....
the company eventually hopes to supply aerospace parts. Arevo’s printing head could run along rails to print larger parts and would avoid the need to build huge ovens to bake them in.

“We can print as big as you want - the fuselage of an aircraft, the wing of an aircraft,”..."
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  #2  
Old May 17th 18, 07:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Kuykendall
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Default technology for manufacturing less-expensive sailplanes?

Well, it does have the "technology for manufacturing" part. But I have yet to see any additive manufacturing solution for aircraft-sized parts that I couldn't beat with conventional molded parts.

Gliders are expensive not because they are particularly special but rather because low demand does not incentivize economies of scale.

If you want inexpensive gliders, the solution is simple: Make lots of them. With orders for 1000 units per year, I could easily produce 18m gliders at an MSRP of $16,000 each, say, $20k with trailer.

--Bob K.
  #3  
Old May 17th 18, 09:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default technology for manufacturing less-expensive sailplanes?

On Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 2:45:01 PM UTC-4, Bob Kuykendall wrote:
Well, it does have the "technology for manufacturing" part. But I have yet to see any additive manufacturing solution for aircraft-sized parts that I couldn't beat with conventional molded parts.

Gliders are expensive not because they are particularly special but rather because low demand does not incentivize economies of scale.

If you want inexpensive gliders, the solution is simple: Make lots of them. With orders for 1000 units per year, I could easily produce 18m gliders at an MSRP of $16,000 each, say, $20k with trailer.

--Bob K.


For how many years would you need to do that volume, Bob? If it's only a year or two, you could do that and then "retire", and sell those gliders over the next decade or two. The needed loan would be a drop in the bucket for the "venture capitalists"?

But seriously, the beauty of the additive process described in that article is that the same machine could be hired to make gliders this month, sailboats next month, etc. IOW, the economy of scale is built in? I have some doubts about the potential labor savings when it comes to sandwich structures, though.
  #4  
Old May 18th 18, 05:47 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Whisky
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Default technology for manufacturing less-expensive sailplanes?

The coat of laying up the fiber structure is the the least part of COGS. Final assembly and surface finish is where the money is.
 




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