2 September 2015 Application and testing of additive manufacturing for mirrors and precision structures
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Additive Manufacturing (aka AM, and 3-D printing) is widely touted in the media as the foundation for the next industrial revolution. Beneath the hype, AM does indeed offer profound advantages in lead-time, dramatically reduced consumption of expensive raw materials, while enabling new and innovative design forms that cannot be produced by other means. General Dynamics and their industry partners have begun to embrace this technology for mirrors and precision structures used in the aerospace, defense, and precision optical instrumentation industries. Aggressively lightweighted, open and closed back test mirror designs, 75-150 mm in size, were first produced by AM from several different materials. Subsequent optical finishing and test experiments have exceeded expectations for density, surface finish, dimensional stability and isotropy of thermal expansion on the optical scale of measurement. Materials currently under examination include aluminum, titanium, beryllium, aluminum beryllium, Inconel 625, stainless steel/bronze, and PEKK polymer.
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Michael Sweeney, Michael Sweeney, Martyn Acreman, Martyn Acreman, Tom Vettese, Tom Vettese, Ray Myatt, Ray Myatt, Mike Thompson, Mike Thompson, } "Application and testing of additive manufacturing for mirrors and precision structures", Proc. SPIE 9574, Material Technologies and Applications to Optics, Structures, Components, and Sub-Systems II, 957406 (2 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2189202; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189202

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