3D Scanning and Printing used to Repair Helicopter Fuselage Hatch
NSW rescue helicopter was grounded due to a damaged fuselage hatch. Disruption to foreign supply meant a 10 week delay for replacement parts and a daily $15,000 cost to the operator while the helicopter was out-of-service. A fast, local solution was needed to get the aircraft operational again.
To minimise downtime, WYSIWYG 3D laser scanned and digitally modified the CAD with trim-line and intensifier features. The data was then sent to the 3D printing team and within 3 days a 3D printed master pattern using Multi-Jet (MJF) technology was ready. A carbon fibre end-use part was then created and cured under vacuum.
MJF PA12’s good chemical resistance, ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures associated with carbon fibre curing meant process times and costs were halved, while improving accuracy.
The new carbon fibre hatch was fitted and the aircraft was operational in 5 days!
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