The inaugural Additive Manufacturing (AM) for Aerospace course was completed in spring quarter 2016 as part of the evening Masters of Aerospace Engineering (MAE) program. Additive manufacturing - which includes "3D printing" - is a manufacturing process that uses computer models to create 3D objects by building up layer upon layer of material. This approach can produce complex structures and material properties previously unattainable by traditional manufacturing methods.
This year, the Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace class provided an overview of design, manufacturing, inspection, qualification, and certification considerations that one must consider in when selecting from a broad spectrum of available AM methods. Each student was given the opportunity to design and print a 3D object, which provided first-hand view of the design and manufacturing process start-to-finish.
The class was taught by Dr. Robert Yancey, the Vice President for Additive Manufacturing at Altair Engineering and Affiliate Professor at UW, with assistance from A&A research engineers Fiona Spencer and Eliot George. This class was also supported by Dr. Royan D’Mello, a postdoctoral fellow working with A&A Professor and Chair Anthony Waas. Interest in the Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace course has exceeded expectations and the department is hoping to make it a regular offering in the MAE program.