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In3Dustry Interview with Elbit Systems Cyclone’s Lior Zilberman on Israeli – EU Collaboration for AM in Aerospace

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A recent workshop organized by the IMS Project Clustering platform in Barcelona resulted in the formation of the international cooperation to stimulate development in the area of Additive Manufacturing (AM), mainly aerospace and defense. At the recent In3Dustry show in Barcelona 3DPBizDirect caught up with Lior Ziblerman, head R&D at Elbit Systems Cyclone and Chairman of the Israeli AATiD Consortium that will collaborate with the EU.

The collaboration will involve EU projects and projects from different regions of the world (e.g. the US, South Africa, Mexico, Israel, Canada, and others) in order to stimulate synergies, maximise mutual benefits and to identify potential plans for cooperation within the clusters, based on the shared vision of its participants. The AM projects are grouped in 3 different clusters on specific themes:  1) AM for Metal parts, 2) AM for Polymer-ceramics-biomaterial parts and 3) Generic technologies including software, laser and new materials for AM.

What is your role at Elbit Systems?

Cyclone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems. We are in charge of producing structures for the military and commercial markets. Also I am chairman of AATiD Consortium, which  has the goal of developing 3D printing and technologies that support 3D printing of parts that can be 3D printed in existing printers.

What is the goal of the collaboration with the EU?

We initiated the cluster to collaborate between Europe and the AATiD consortium in order to share all the data that we can share. It is called TAS AM and it is supported and led by the EU. I know this is a challenge but now we have initiated a solution.We are not going to develop 3D printers; we are going to develop technologies, practices and methodologies for engineering derivatives that will help us to produce the parts that could be qualified according to existing regulations.

How will the consortium operate?

We are working together leading academics and researches from several academies, as well as companies that are involved in the aerospace structures business, mainly in additive manufacturing. We have observers. One of them is looking on the after-market – this is the Israeli Air Force – and one of them is the Israeli Federal Aviation. We will go in the way that our printed part will be qualified in the end.

What do you think is the potential of AM in aerospace?

Additive manufacturing is still not mature, it is not a mature technology. I presented it and I think that all colleagues also feel this way. I think that cooperations between consortiums or between companies are fundamental for the technology’s evolutions through big data sharing. Companies can share data, for example, on how to design these complex geometries, or on how to optimally 3D print a part. We need to share information on how to perform the best finish process and on how to test it in order to validate that it is working… In my opinion the best way is to cooperate altogether to navigate through this ocean of data. Show’s like In3dustry can help us start up this process.

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