In the past 20 years, a great progress has been made in additive manufacturing techniques, which has led to numerous applications in aeronautical and defense structures. Though not all advanced materials and alloys, can be automatically layered by a rapid prototyping system or machine, several interesting application have seen the light of publicity in many sectors. Efforts are underway to apply the automated layering technologies in as many materials as possible, mostly nowadays plastics, reinforced-polymers, and metals can be processed by such systems in order to produce three-dimensional parts. The work is underway internationally in order to promote more and more applications of additive manufacturing or automated layering and to lower the costs in such systems. This paper aims at presenting a review of the additive manufacturing history presenting the major steps that lead to the explosion of this technology, and with a special focus on advanced 3D structures in aerospace and defense applications. An insight is also given on the four dimensions of manufacturing concept.
Part of the book: Lamination