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#78 Innovators on Innovators: Scott Sevcik & Michael Hayes talk 3D printing in aerospace

On this episode of Additive Insight, we bring you the fourth instalment of our Innovators on Innovators series featuring Stratasys‘ VP of Aerospace Scott Sevcik [SS] and Boeing Technical Lead Engineer Michael Hayes [MH].  

The pair both have extensive experience in the aerospace sector, with Sevcik spending time at Lockheed Martin and United Technologies before moving across to Stratasys and Hayes spending more than three decades at Boeing. Stratasys and Boeing have been working together since 2003 after Hayes met with founder and FDM inventor Scott Crump at an additive manufacturing user’s conference. In that time, they have collaborated to establish a range of 3D printing applications in the aviation sector, and having worked in close quarters over the last seven years, Sevcik and Hayes joined the Additive Insight podcast to share their insights. Throughout their conversation, they touch on early aerospace applications, the development of standards, and the other big hurdles involved in applying additive manufacturing in the industry. 

When discussing the aerospace industry’s varying confidence levels in 3D printing, Hayes noted that compromises are being made in the design and additive manufacture of components so as to ensure that the technology is not responsible for any failures. 

“What I see is that we’re not really getting to take the full advantage of additive because we have to force upon not having the full confidence, we put knockdowns into our analysis, we basically say we don’t trust this enough so therefore, we’re going to boost our confidence by knocking down our properties by a certain percentage, a relatively large percentage, which therefore you’re not taking full advantage of additive in its weight, or its performance, because of the confidence variation. So, the metal side is challenged in that regard because of the the knock downs that they’re going to have to see and then not be able to get the full advantage of additive.

“I mean, we’re not getting full performance out of the polymer parts either because you take your low property values and size for that, and therefore your parts are really going to be heavier, because ultimately, right now, we don’t want additive to fail. You don’t want that black eye because it continues to set the prejudice. We don’t want any of our platforms to fail, but at the same time, we don’t want additive to be a part of any failure as well. Even if it’s some minute light switch that has no criticality at all, we don’t want to see a crack in that part, so we’re going to design it so over the life of that part, it’s not going to crack, because we’re trying to prove out the process.”

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