1,000 3D printed on board the A350 XWB.
Stratasys has revealed that leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus has 3D printed more than 1,000 flight parts for the A350 XWB aircraft to speed up the manufacturing process and meet tight production deadlines.
Delivered in 2014, the parts were printed on Stratasys FDM 3D Production Systems and used in place of traditionally manufactured parts in a “schedule risk production activity” that was implemented to increase supply chain flexibility.
The parts are 3D printed using Airbus certified ULTEM 9085 resin which provides high strength-to-weight ratio and is FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) compliant for aircraft interior applications. The process results in strong, lightweight parts and reduced production time and manufacturing costs.
“We are delighted that Stratasys additive manufacturing solutions are being adopted by Airbus for its flagship A350 XWB aircraft,” Dan Yalon, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Marketing & Vertical Solutions for Stratasys, commented. “Our additive manufacturing solutions can produce complex parts on-demand, ensuring on time delivery while streamlining supply chains.”
Leading companies in a variety of industries, from aerospace and automotive to consumer goods and medical, are partnering with the additive manufacturing giant to adopt new production strategies. By adopting additive manufacturing throughout the product lifecycle, companies can lower operational costs, accelerate time to market, decentralise production, and increase product functionality.
Yalon, added: “Additive manufacturing also greatly improves the buy-to-fly ratio as significantly less material is wasted than with conventional manufacturing methods. Stratasys is looking forward to bringing these and other advantages to its collaboration with Airbus and to being part of Airbus’ Factory of the Future initiative.”
Production of the A350 XWB has been a focal point of the industrial additive manufacturing industry including the famous 3D printed seat bracket which was installed on board the aircraft last year and recognised in the 2014 German Industry Innovation Awards. Airbus announced its 3D printing plans for the aircraft in March last year and since then the industry has witnessed a number of groundbreaking aerospace applications including the world’s largest 3D printed aerospace component, the Trent XWB-92 engine implemented by Rolls Royce and developments in dedicated materials like the new the TiPOW (Titanium Powder for net-shape component manufacture) program from GKN Aerospace.