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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:03 pm 
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http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/2 ... ompletion/
http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/2 ... propeller/

"Fabricated from a Nickel Aluminium Bronze (NAB) alloy at RAMLAB in the Port of Rotterdam, the propeller was produced with the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) method using a Valk welding system and Autodesk software. The triple-blade structure uses a Promarin design that is used on Damen’s Stan Tug 1606. With production complete, the WAAMpeller will be CNC milled at Autodesk’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Birmingham, UK."

The testing programme included bollard pull and crash stop testing in addition to speed trials.

“We are pleased to report that the WAAMpeller displayed the same behaviour as a conventional casted propeller in all of the tests. This includes the same level of performance in the crash stop scenario, which – going from full throttle ahead to full throttle reverse – is the heaviest loading that a propeller can experience."
==

Now, how will it last in service ?? At least on a harbour tug, it will get frequent inspection and be close to home if there's problems...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:40 am 
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Shouldn't have a problem. WAAM has actually been around for about a century (first patent was 1926), although it's had something of a renaissance in recent years. Essentially the technique is to get a CNC controlled MIG welder head and use it to lay down a series of layers of material into roughly the shape you want, which is then final machined to shape. If you can weld it, you can WAAM it - and the material properties are essentially the same (potentially slightly improved actually - you can also run a roller over the WAAM surface in between layers before it solidifies to give properties more akin to a forging). The net result will be something with rather better material properties than you'd get from a casting, up there with machining from a forged billet - something rather tricky to do with a large object like a propeller.

Incidentally, this is why I'm not convinced that a lot of the worries about losing the industrial capacity to make big forgings like wing spars is such an issue - with WAAM the robots are actually pretty small and run on tracks to make the part, so there isn't really any upper limit on the size of the part you can make. Since the process gives you parts that are functionally equivalent to forgings with a cost not far from that of a casting, then for complex parts with relatively low metal content the process is very appealing. You can also do wacky things like embedding optical fibres within the metal part to give continuous strain measurements, or printing-in channels for fluids to flow through the part - things totally impossible with a forging.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:15 am 
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I know this technology is being looked at for things like engine thrust fittings on aircraft. And apparently it works with titanium as well. I don't know how well it would do with the traditionally non-weldable 2000 and 7000 series aluminums typically used in aircraft.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:42 am 
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gtg947h wrote:
I know this technology is being looked at for things like engine thrust fittings on aircraft. And apparently it works with titanium as well. I don't know how well it would do with the traditionally non-weldable 2000 and 7000 series aluminums typically used in aircraft.

2024 and 2319 aluminium are available, and I know they can do Al/Mg/Cu alloys but I don't know if these include Zn or not.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Just as a thought, build a big vacuum chamber to WAAM in. Most of the issues related to welding are from oxygen in the atmosphere, and a lot of the others are from trace gases. Of course, that leaves the residual issues of uneven heat distribution and dissipation in the part, but we can't have everything.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:21 pm 
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KDahm wrote:
Just as a thought, build a big vacuum chamber to WAAM in. Most of the issues related to welding are from oxygen in the atmosphere, and a lot of the others are from trace gases. Of course, that leaves the residual issues of uneven heat distribution and dissipation in the part, but we can't have everything.

Heat is the big problem with aircraft aluminum alloys, not gases.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:37 pm 
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gtg947h wrote:
I know this technology is being looked at for things like engine thrust fittings on aircraft. And apparently it works with titanium as well. I don't know how well it would do with the traditionally non-weldable 2000 and 7000 series aluminums typically used in aircraft.


The US Navy is experimenting with using 3D printed Titanium parts in the Osprey. https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2016/08/01/osprey-takes-to-the-sky-with-3-d-printed-critical-parts/

Will really change military logistics if parts can be printed on demand.

3D printed parts have also been used in military satellites. - https://newatlas.com/lockheed-martin-3d-printed-military-satellite/48776/


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:43 pm 
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brovane wrote:
Will really change military logistics if parts can be printed on demand.

Less than you'd think. 3D printing is good for parts that are rarely needed (so you don't just stock them) and don't need to get pushed to the ragged edge of performance. When you need to be absolutely sure that the part works well, getting it certified and accepted is going to be a lot of work.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:01 am 
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KDahm wrote:
Just as a thought, build a big vacuum chamber to WAAM in. Most of the issues related to welding are from oxygen in the atmosphere, and a lot of the others are from trace gases. Of course, that leaves the residual issues of uneven heat distribution and dissipation in the part, but we can't have everything.

The early WAAM work used a big tent filled with inert gas. More recently they've been modifying the process so that just the welding torch is inside a bubble of inert gas. Same effect, vastly less cost and no size limit. The only 3D printing technique widely used at the moment which needs a vacuum chamber is electron-beam melting, and the physics simply won't let that work in a gas atmosphere.

ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
Will really change military logistics if parts can be printed on demand.

Less than you'd think. 3D printing is good for parts that are rarely needed (so you don't just stock them) and don't need to get pushed to the ragged edge of performance. When you need to be absolutely sure that the part works well, getting it certified and accepted is going to be a lot of work.

It has been done for a couple of components (mostly by GE), but it's painful. The real problem is that nobody really knows how to deal with them yet - the material properties are pretty good (usually better than castings which are widely used at the moment), but proving it currently requires a barn full of machines producing endless parts which are all destructively tested to prove the process is repeatable. That's seriously expensive, and means the process is very rarely commercially viable for production aerospace parts.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:06 am 
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ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
Will really change military logistics if parts can be printed on demand.

Less than you'd think. 3D printing is good for parts that are rarely needed (so you don't just stock them) and don't need to get pushed to the ragged edge of performance. When you need to be absolutely sure that the part works well, getting it certified and accepted is going to be a lot of work.


It is a technology problem and I have no doubt a way will be figured out to certify critical aerospace parts from 3D printers in the field.

The advantage is to great, especially with legacy hardware that you have parts that are no longer manufactured.

Already 3D printed parts are being used in structural components aircraft.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:10 am 
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pdf27 wrote:
It has been done for a couple of components (mostly by GE), but it's painful. The real problem is that nobody really knows how to deal with them yet - the material properties are pretty good (usually better than castings which are widely used at the moment), but proving it currently requires a barn full of machines producing endless parts which are all destructively tested to prove the process is repeatable. That's seriously expensive, and means the process is very rarely commercially viable for production aerospace parts.


Boeing is already using 3D printing in the 787 for a structural component.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/11/15256008/3d-printed-titanium-parts-boeing-dreamliner-787

Already processes are being figured out to make and qualify 3D printed parts for commercial aerospace.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:22 am 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
Will really change military logistics if parts can be printed on demand.

Less than you'd think. 3D printing is good for parts that are rarely needed (so you don't just stock them) and don't need to get pushed to the ragged edge of performance. When you need to be absolutely sure that the part works well, getting it certified and accepted is going to be a lot of work.


It is a technology problem and I have no doubt a way will be figured out to certify critical aerospace parts from 3D printers in the field.

The advantage is to great, especially with legacy hardware that you have parts that are no longer manufactured.

Already 3D printed parts are being used in structural components aircraft.

It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:26 am 
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brovane wrote:
pdf27 wrote:
It has been done for a couple of components (mostly by GE), but it's painful. The real problem is that nobody really knows how to deal with them yet - the material properties are pretty good (usually better than castings which are widely used at the moment), but proving it currently requires a barn full of machines producing endless parts which are all destructively tested to prove the process is repeatable. That's seriously expensive, and means the process is very rarely commercially viable for production aerospace parts.


Boeing is already using 3D printing in the 787 for a structural component.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/11/15256008/3d-printed-titanium-parts-boeing-dreamliner-787

Already processes are being figured out to make and qualify 3D printed parts for commercial aerospace.

FYI, that's a WAAM process under another name and from a different supplier. It's rather easier to certify than some of the powder-bed processes which are give you a final part much closer to the final net shape, so it's only a partial solution.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:29 am 
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ByronC wrote:
It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.

That's what makes this story interesting - ship propellers, even relatively standard ones, have small production runs anyway, and have considerable per-unit regulatory costs. So the additional burden of certifying novel manufacturing techniques is relatively modest compared to the relatively risk-averse nature of the maritime industry. In fact, a lot of the time it's the classification societies who push through new technology, because few operators want to go first and have a failure on their hands.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:43 am 
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ByronC wrote:
It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.


I disagree, the tech will drive the solution for the regulatory part because once the technology can be demonstrated to produce consistent parts that meet or exceed all required specifications then a regulatory process will follow to certify that part.

Based on the article about the Osprey the military is already going down this path.

Within a decade we could very easily be seeing a US Navy Aircraft carrier deploying with a lot fewer spare parts and a lot more 3D printers and raw materials to print parts on demand as needed during deployment.

I remember having this discussion with you a couple of years ago and you being negative at the time. Every year I keep reading about advancements in 3D printing allowing more and more uses by the US military. Those parts are also advancing from Printed plastic parts to Printed titanium structural parts.

The technology is advancing past your negativity.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:34 pm 
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RLBH wrote:
ByronC wrote:
It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.

That's what makes this story interesting - ship propellers, even relatively standard ones, have small production runs anyway, and have considerable per-unit regulatory costs. So the additional burden of certifying novel manufacturing techniques is relatively modest compared to the relatively risk-averse nature of the maritime industry. In fact, a lot of the time it's the classification societies who push through new technology, because few operators want to go first and have a failure on their hands.

The biggest and most important difference between a ship and an airplane is what happens when the propulsion system breaks, and I think that's going to show up here.

brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.


I disagree, the tech will drive the solution for the regulatory part because once the technology can be demonstrated to produce consistent parts that meet or exceed all required specifications then a regulatory process will follow to certify that part.

Less than you'd think. I worked in commercial airplane safety for two years. If someone wanted to replace a part in one of our airplane's wings with a 3D printed one, it would have crossed my desk. Everyone in that business has two main motives:
1. Keep the plane from breaking.
2. If the plane does break, make sure it isn't your fault.
And what makes a suitable replacement is really complicated. Sure, the AM part has the required strength, but does it have the fatigue life necessary? What about corrosion resistance? Electrical compatibility? Does it meet EU regulations on toxic substances? If I can't prove that it's equal or better in all respects, I'm going to reject under motive 2.
I could see them coming into use for temporary repair parts that get taken off quickly (assuming that those make sense, which they may not, depending on labor requirements), but I don't think you'll see blanket certs in the near future.

Quote:
Based on the article about the Osprey the military is already going down this path.

Within a decade we could very easily be seeing a US Navy Aircraft carrier deploying with a lot fewer spare parts and a lot more 3D printers and raw materials to print parts on demand as needed during deployment.

The military has a lot more freedom than the commercial side. But that said, how many storerooms on a carrier are filled with parts that can be 3D printed (so no electronics, no really exotic materials with special properties that we can't print, etc), and that are used rarely enough it doesn't make sense to just stock them? How many of those parts have 3D-printer compatible blueprints in the system?

Quote:
I remember having this discussion with you a couple of years ago and you being negative at the time. Every year I keep reading about advancements in 3D printing allowing more and more uses by the US military. Those parts are also advancing from Printed plastic parts to Printed titanium structural parts.

Printing titanium is getting cheaper, but it isn't news. My manufacturing professor was talking about it 5 years ago. There are both practical and regulatory problems, and saying "The technology is advancing past your negativity." is not a response.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:15 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
It's not a tech problem, it's a regulatory one. For field replacement, getting people to sign off is just as hard as when Boeing decides to put a printed part on every 787. But the cost is all on one part, instead of being spread over the entire production run.


I disagree, the tech will drive the solution for the regulatory part because once the technology can be demonstrated to produce consistent parts that meet or exceed all required specifications then a regulatory process will follow to certify that part.

Less than you'd think. I worked in commercial airplane safety for two years. If someone wanted to replace a part in one of our airplane's wings with a 3D printed one, it would have crossed my desk. Everyone in that business has two main motives:
1. Keep the plane from breaking.
2. If the plane does break, make sure it isn't your fault.
And what makes a suitable replacement is really complicated. Sure, the AM part has the required strength, but does it have the fatigue life necessary? What about corrosion resistance? Electrical compatibility? Does it meet EU regulations on toxic substances? If I can't prove that it's equal or better in all respects, I'm going to reject under motive 2.
I could see them coming into use for temporary repair parts that get taken off quickly (assuming that those make sense, which they may not, depending on labor requirements), but I don't think you'll see blanket certs in the near future.


The issue comes in developing a good set of data on material properties for parts manufactured this way. The FAA won't let you For "traditional" materials like certain 2XXX-series and 7XXX-series alloys, that's easily available and well-understood because of an absolutely enormous base of testing data and decades of industrial experience. But right now, for critical AM parts, you're looking at
pdf27 wrote:
a barn full of machines producing endless parts which are all destructively tested to prove the process is repeatable. That's seriously expensive, and means the process is very rarely commercially viable for production aerospace parts.


Now, as the industrial experience grows and more data accumulates, you'll see it start to be used more broadly. Eventually it will be used to make one-off parts. But that's going to be a long and drawn-out process.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:44 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
Less than you'd think. I worked in commercial airplane safety for two years. If someone wanted to replace a part in one of our airplane's wings with a 3D printed one, it would have crossed my desk. Everyone in that business has two main motives:
1. Keep the plane from breaking.
2. If the plane does break, make sure it isn't your fault.
And what makes a suitable replacement is really complicated. Sure, the AM part has the required strength, but does it have the fatigue life necessary? What about corrosion resistance? Electrical compatibility? Does it meet EU regulations on toxic substances? If I can't prove that it's equal or better in all respects, I'm going to reject under motive 2.
I could see them coming into use for temporary repair parts that get taken off quickly (assuming that those make sense, which they may not, depending on labor requirements), but I don't think you'll see blanket certs in the near future.


It is going to be hard to reject under motive #2 if it is proven that the parts can are equal or better in all respects and costs significantly less. Define near future?

If a part is 3D printed for the original manufacture. Wouldn't the replacement part in the field also be printed? I would think initially on the Commercial side that is where you will see the introduction of printed parts, it will be in the manufacture side and eventually that will then start translating into field replacements and eventually #2 will not really be relevant. Kind of hard to argue about using a printed part as a spare if the original is a certified printed part.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/11/boeing-faa-approved-3d-printed-metals-787/

From early 2016 to February 2017, Boeing worked with Norsk to be able to pass the Federal Aviation Administration's rigorous testing program for the components. The partners expect to get additional FAA approval for the material's properties and manufacturing process later this year. That will allow the Norwegian firm to make more 3D-printed titanium parts without having to get each of them approved, leading to even more savings per plane.


ByronC wrote:
The military has a lot more freedom than the commercial side. But that said, how many storerooms on a carrier are filled with parts that can be 3D printed (so no electronics, no really exotic materials with special properties that we can't print, etc), and that are used rarely enough it doesn't make sense to just stock them? How many of those parts have 3D-printer compatible blueprints in the system?


You can 3D print circuit boards and already the industry is researching printers that could use different types of metals in printing the same object.

As far as 3D printer compatible prints, it is more of a matter of the US military deciding how many blue prints it wants in the system.

The US military is even looking at 3D printing bombs and missiles. Kind of interesting, running low on missiles print more of them.

ByronC wrote:
Printing titanium is getting cheaper, but it isn't news. My manufacturing professor was talking about it 5 years ago. There are both practical and regulatory problems, and saying "The technology is advancing past your negativity." is not a response.


Using a flight critical printed titanium part as a replacement for a traditional manufactured part isn't news?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:18 pm 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
Less than you'd think. I worked in commercial airplane safety for two years. If someone wanted to replace a part in one of our airplane's wings with a 3D printed one, it would have crossed my desk. Everyone in that business has two main motives:
1. Keep the plane from breaking.
2. If the plane does break, make sure it isn't your fault.
And what makes a suitable replacement is really complicated. Sure, the AM part has the required strength, but does it have the fatigue life necessary? What about corrosion resistance? Electrical compatibility? Does it meet EU regulations on toxic substances? If I can't prove that it's equal or better in all respects, I'm going to reject under motive 2.
I could see them coming into use for temporary repair parts that get taken off quickly (assuming that those make sense, which they may not, depending on labor requirements), but I don't think you'll see blanket certs in the near future.


It is going to be hard to reject under motive #2 if it is proven that the parts can are equal or better in all respects and costs significantly less. Define near future?

Proving that costs a lot of money and a huge mountain of paperwork. There isn't currently a process in place for proving it in general, and it's going to take a mountain of money and a whole range of paperwork to put that in place. Near future is probably 20 years.

Quote:
If a part is 3D printed for the original manufacture. Wouldn't the replacement part in the field also be printed? I would think initially on the Commercial side that is where you will see the introduction of printed parts, it will be in the manufacture side and eventually that will then start translating into field replacements and eventually #2 will not really be relevant. Kind of hard to argue about using a printed part as a spare if the original is a certified printed part.

For the next 30+ years, most of the airplanes flying will have very few OEM printed parts. Those that are printed may or may not have regulatory problems printing replacement parts in the field (depending on how reasonable the FAA is feeling), but they're a tiny minority right now, and are going to stay that way for a few decades.

Quote:
You can 3D print circuit boards and already the industry is researching printers that could use different types of metals in printing the same object.

And the components that go on the circuit boards? I agree that lots of exciting things are going on, but it's going to be a while. Additive manufacturing is cool, but it's not there yet.

Quote:
As far as 3D printer compatible prints, it is more of a matter of the US military deciding how many blue prints it wants in the system.

And paying for vendors to let them use the blueprints, and testing said blueprints to make sure they work, and that the parts still meet specs...

Quote:
The US military is even looking at 3D printing bombs and missiles. Kind of interesting, running low on missiles print more of them.

And the bit where you safely 3D print explosives?

Quote:
Using a flight critical printed titanium part as a replacement for a traditional manufactured part isn't news?

I'll grant you that it's interesting. But you'd better believe they did a bunch of engineering on that specific part to make sure it wasn't going to have problems. Neither you nor I know exactly what the limits on are this kind of stuff, and I'd bet they picked a part which worked well for the limitations they have. Again, given uses are neat. Arbitrary uses are unlikely.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:01 am 
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ByronC wrote:
The biggest and most important difference between a ship and an airplane is what happens when the propulsion system breaks, and I think that's going to show up here.

Fortunately, there are industries other than aviation, which have regulatory regimes other than the aviation regulatory regime, and not all technologies need to be applicable to the aviation industry.

When you're dealing with low volume manufacturing with a significant per-unit regulatory overhead - which applies to the maritime industry, but even more so to the nuclear and space industries - then a manufacturing process where individual parts need to be certified individually isn't a big deal. Especially if you were going to have to certify them that way anyway, which tends to be the case. It looks like a large part of this exercise was Bureau Veritas figuring out how to certify the end product.

Once you start looking to move away from testing each part and into mass production, then you start encountering the problems that aviation comes up against. Automotive engineering might actually come down the other side of the curve, where it becomes cost-effective to suck up the capital costs involved in procuring the barn of machines to certify the process.

Or you just go into consumer goods, where the regulatory burden is minimal and you churn out eleventy squillion things which look good in a showroom, can't kill anyone if it falls apart, and nobody (apart from the customer) really cares if it falls apart one second after the warranty expires.

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