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«Spring 2024

Duncan Manufacturing Solutions Focusing on Innovation & Creativity


DMS (Duncan Manufacturing Solutions), our parts manufacturing and fabrication division, rises above others in the aviation parts fabrication industry with a focus on innovation and creative problem-solving. Where others see obstacles, DMS sees and seeks new opportunities to leverage a long list of in-house capabilities, a skilled workforce, and new technologies to create solutions.

Our DMS team is constantly seeking new machinery and capabilities to meet the demand for high-quality precision parts and quick-turn services for the most demanding customers. We explore our newest additions here.

Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D Printer

DMS utilizes the Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D Printer to create accurate and reliable molds, accelerating the manufacturing process and reducing production costs. The machine has a 10x14x16-inch build volume and can use materials that meet aviation burn certification requirements and are approved by the US Department of Defense.

Tooling and Prototyping: DMS uses the 3D printer to create fixtures, composite molds, and functioning prototypes for aircraft parts. Printing molds for aircraft parts avoids the long lead time and high cost of machining tools and fixtures.

Thermoforming Vacuum Molds: For vacuum molds, the Stratasys printer uses naturally porous materials to create molds that will allow the plastic onto the mold without the need for drilled vent holes. Machined molds require vent holes to be drilled in manually, which adds to production time and risks of being drilled unevenly. DMS uses vacuum molds to create Kydex parts such as toilet shrouds, cup holders, trim bezels, and light gaspers.

Hollow Core Composite: DMS utilizes printed soluble material to create sacrificial tooling applications for the easy creation of hollow core composite parts with complex geometries.

John Shaw Rubber Pad Press

Many legacy aircraft rely upon formed sheet metal parts as support structures, such as ribs and spars, which are very difficult to find if a replacement is necessary. Very few vendors have the reliable resources and capabilities to manufacture the complex sheet metal forming. The expected lead times can be as long as 52 weeks or more, even longer for one-off parts.

DMS has purchased a John Shaw Rubber Pad Press with a 20x30-inch envelope that forms parts with 435 tons of vertical pressure and flexible pads. Utilizing the molds printed with the Stratasys 3D printer, aluminum parts are formed in O condition (dead soft), which allows the material to be bent and stretched into complex shapes and geometries without cracking. The parts are then heat-treated to final temper for the materials to achieve their final maximum strength.

When aircraft parts are no longer in production, DMS provides the solutions to keep aging aircraft in operation. Whether one or 1,001, DMS fabricates complex parts and unique materials cut to demanding specifications. Everything from support structures and bracketry to the finishing touches of the interior aesthetics, from prototype to finished assembly with customer data, we deliver the part ready to use.

DMS is another reason Duncan Aviation has risen to the top.