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Aerospace sector embraces 3D printing.

Small, inexpensive 3D printers can create plastic toys, jewelry or other objects in a matter of hours. Now, the technology is being used by large aerospace companies.

Advanced, more expensive printers can now make parts for aircraft engines, said Hugh Evans, vice president of corporate development and ventures for 3D Systems, a Rock Hill, S.C.-based company. "It's going into aerospace at a very fast rate because you can 3D print aircraft engine parts and take weight out," Evans said.

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Three-D printing is a subset of additive manufacturing processes, which are shaking up the traditional methods of making goods. Manufacturing normally takes an object and subtracts from it by whittling or drilling. Three-D printing adds layers of a substance--often a plastic--to create an object. The method only requires a user to download a blueprint. Because the process utilizes fewer materials, it can save corn ponies money, as well as allow them to create parts on the fly.

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Title Annotation:From the National Defense Blog
Comment:Aerospace sector embraces 3D printing.(From the National Defense Blog)
Publication:National Defense
Date:Jan 1, 2014
Words:165
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