ASME AM3D Speaker Spotlight: Don Godfrey, Honeywell Aerospace


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Don Godfrey of Honeywell Aerospace will be speaking about additive manufacturing at ASME’s AM3D conference. Image: Honeywell Aerospace

It's going to take a lot more than a collection of one-off 3D-printed drones to make most industries comfortable with the idea of additive manufacturing (AM).

First, there's the issue of whether taking on the cost of implementing AM in the supply chain is a worthwhile expenditure, both in terms of financial and human capital.

Then there's the issue of quality control and establishing standards.

That's where Don Godfrey comes in.

An eight-year AM veteran at Honeywell Aerospace, Godfrey has been instrumental in shaping the future of aviation manufacturing and its quality assurance. He is also a certified project manager with five AM-related patents, and a well-known authority on additive technologies.

Godfrey says printing from digital files means the sky's the limit, geometrically speaking. Designs can be as complex as necessary to optimize component efficiency and compatibility.

“Companies will move from a 'design to facilitate manufacturing' mentality to a 'complexity is free' mentality," Godfrey says.

The prospects are exciting, but there is a certain degree of fine-tuning required to help corporations feel more confident integrating AM, particularly when it comes to refining fundamental materials and algorithms.

“Then corporate cultures will be more comfortable with additive technology," Godfrey says.

Honeywell an industry leader

Honeywell has a number of accomplishments under its belt when it comes to AM, which helps put it in a unique leadership position.

It was the first aviation company to successfully flight-test additively manufactured components made with a high-temperature superalloy (nickel alloy 718 powder), and it was also first to use electron beam-melting technology to make a component of that same material.

Honeywell also pioneered rotating turbine blades made with other AM material in 2012, and validated the parts with cyclic spin testing.

Aerospace industry at cutting edge of AM

This bleed air tee duct was additively manufactured by Honeywell Aerospace. Image: Honeywell Aerospace

Currently, Honeywell is working to get five initial parts into projection, all of which provide the company with double-digit cost-reduction opportunities. However, the issues of patents and proprietary technology will only become more complex as AM is more widely adopted.

Companies will need to be mindful of potential design infringement and declining aftermarket sales. Godfrey says Honeywell is working to limit its exposure to possible duplication by implementing unique design processes.

“This can best be accomplished using unique material chemistries. Companies will try to patent new material chemistries to protect this revenue stream via the granting of licenses," he says.

A pivotal question about how companies will verify and validate the integrity of these components remains, and it will only be answered as more and more companies begin experimenting with 3D printing.

Honeywell is developing sensor systems that monitor the weld puddle and correlate its characteristics to tensile properties data. The company is also working on scanners that compare the shape of each layer of the build against its computer-aided design model.

Learn more about Honeywell Aerospace and their work in aviation manufacturing by visiting Honeywell Aerospace online.

Don Godfrey will be at ASME's AM3D conference in Boston on Aug. 5 to talk about "In- Process 3D Geometry Measurement and Reconstruction for Direct Metal Laser Sintering." Find out more about the ASME Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Conference and Expo here. Registration is open—see the current agenda and visit the registration page to get the best prices now.

Kate Dougherty is an independent writer.

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May 2015

by Kate Dougherty