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MfAM Walks so DfAM Can Run! with Chelsea Cummings
CDFAM Expert Speaker Interview
Chelsea Cummings, a Senior Additive Manufacturing Engineer and Digital Applications ADDvisor with The Barnes Global Advisors, leverages her extensive experience from Honeywell Aerospace and Arconic to spearhead projects focused on enhancing design processes. She provides expert advice to clients on leveraging digital tools to bolster their additive manufacturing (AM) strategies.
Her career milestones include the qualification of the first-of-its-kind Inconel 718 L-PBF flight hardware with the FAA at Honeywell in 2015, transitioning a flight hardware part family into AM production for the Airbus A320neo upgrade in 2018, and facilitating the flight of the first Army-developed, metal AM safety component on a U.S. Army rotorcraft in 2022. Such experiences have endowed her with rich insights into not only Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) but also the vital qualification processes required for validating critical components.
Recognizing that not every design initiative can begin anew, Chelsea and her team also guide their clients in adopting Modify for Additive Manufacturing (MfAM), a step that allows them to accrue valuable experience and confidence before fully embracing DfAM.
Chelsea is slated to present 'MfAM Walks so DfAM Can Run!' at the CDFAM Symposium. We caught up with her to learn more about her background, experiences, and what she will be sharing in her presentation.
Can you describe your role at The Barnes Global Advisors, and explain how you leverage your experience in qualifying AM parts for aerospace companies such as Honeywell, Alcoa, and Airbus within that position?
As Digital Applications Advisor, I aim to characterize applications to help customers identify the software and hardware best suited for their AM project. Various user (and operator) workflows can have significant impact on design outcomes for various applications. By orienting design around process principles and target part performance, I can tailor optimization of parts across diverse use-cases. Having worked very closely with the process to qualify parts with highly constraining requirements, I am able to help customers anticipate design, manufacturing, and project risks early on, and help implement control plans before project schedule and/or quality are compromised.
How has your early experience in qualifying the first AM parts, which involved both educating the FAA and being audited by them, influenced your current approach to guiding clients on AM application and navigating the qualification process?
Participating in early part qualifications of a technology new to production was challenging because it was like writing a test, while also taking the test with intent to pass, while remaining ethical. I carry the same sense of responsibility into client projects today. Every case is different, but there are often three similar obstacles as those when qualifying parts with an auditing entity. There is an educational aspect, cultural aspect, and of course, technical aspect. Education around the process and typical workflows helps everyone get on the same page to prioritize project tasks correctly. Cultural barriers remain when it comes to adopting any new technology, especially in long-running organizations - in the case of AM, it is often addressed by ensuring the right application(s) has been chosen. Finally, there is the technical aspect which continues to require a specific amount of rigor in terms of testing and data, despite the technology’s ongoing maturation. Above all, remaining forthright and objective throughout all aspects is the greatest enabler of a successful part qualification.
Register to attend two days of networking and presentations with leading experts in computational and generative design, AI in engineering and advanced manufacturing June 14-15 2023 in New York City.