Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2019
In recent years, reducing cost and lead time in product development and qualification has become decisive to stay competitive in the space industry. Introducing Additive Manufacturing (AM) could potentially be beneficial from this perspective, but high demands on product reliability and lack of knowledge about AM processes make implementation challenging. Traditional approaches to qualification are too expensive if AM is to be used for critical applications in the near future. One alternative approach is to consider qualification as a design factor in the early phases of product development, potentially reducing cost and lead time for development and qualification as products are designed to be qualified. The presented study has identified factors that drive qualification activities in the space industry and these “qualification drivers” serve as a baseline for a set of proposed strategies for developing “Design for Qualification” guidelines for AM components. The explicit aim of these guidelines is to develop products that can be qualified, as well as appropriate qualification logics. The presented results provide a knowledge-base for the future development of such guidelines.
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