UAS Leader Implements Digital Manufacturing Process DAPS.
In order to support the development of its additive manufacturing applications and implement a fully digital manufacturing process for GA-products, ASI's Divergent Technologies, Inc. (Divergent) has partnered with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the world's top manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), radars, electro-optic, and related mission systems.
The Divergent Adaptive Production System is a data-driven method that Divergent has created for designing, manufacturing, and assembling vehicle structures (DAPS).
In order to use this capability in the production of its line of UAS, GA-ASI is collaborating with Divergent.
"During our 30 years of designing and producing sophisticated UAS, GA-ASI has been focused on integrating new capabilities into our manufacturing process," stated David R. Alexander, president of GA-ASI.
With the aim of streamlining our design and manufacturing procedures and offering next-generation UAS at the most competitive price, we're collaborating with Divergent to integrate their technology as part of our Additive Design and Manufacturing Center of Excellence strategy.
In 2022, GA-ASI and Divergent started a collaborative development initiative that strengthened their strategic collaboration across several platforms.
Divergent is collaborating with GA-Additive ASI's Manufacturing (AM), aircraft integrity, material, and design engineering teams to adapt, apply, and qualify its technology for the automotive industry to GA-aviation ASI's production.
With many recent vehicle OEM acceptance announcements, Divergent has expanded within the automotive industry as a Digital Manufacturing process pioneer, generating some of the fastest automobiles on the market.
The first industrial digital manufacturing system was created by Divergent. DAPS may be used to manufacture the fundamental structure for almost any vehicle, whether it be on land, the sea, the air, or space, better, quicker, and more affordably than traditional manufacturing, according to Kevin Czinger, founder, lead inventor, and CEO of Divergent.
Using model-based, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven, and topology optimised designs, GA-ASI and Divergent have already finished two projects that result in a fully integrated compact ( 500 lbs.) UAS aerostructure.
The 3D-printed integrated metal structure allowed for the achievement of the weight goals while reducing the part count integration by over 95%.
By building a complete digital twin of the small UAS (SUAS), which was then used in a completely automated, tool-free robotic assembly process that took less than 20 minutes to complete, the DAPS method checked each printed component.
By this procedure, the team was able to move quickly from a print-ready SUAS design to a deliverable airframe that was fully put together. According to GA-ASI, this capability will eventually make it possible to serve the warfighter with near-theater ramp capacity.
This ground-breaking design and manufacturing methodology produces highly integrated, weight- and performance-optimized designs that naturally, but not exclusively, use additive manufacturing (AM) technologies.
It also offers a rapid, tool-free iterative design process for a variety of platform variants.