Fancy the idea of being 35,000 feet in the air on a 3D Printed airplane? The idea might seem absurd to many but with recent developments, this could be possible in the future.
On May 6th, Stratasys announced their involvement in the production of over 1000 3D printed parts for Airbus A350 WXB. The project which took place in last December was part of the joint collaboration between Stratasys and Airbus to boost schedule productivity. As compared to traditionally manufactured parts, the 3D printed parts are a lot more adaptable, hence allowing Airbus to adhere to the deadline and deliver the airplane as promised.
Through the use of Stratasys’s FDM technology, the airplane parts were manufactured in a faster and more efficient manner. Cost-wise, it was also lower than usual traditional production methods. Made out of ULTEM™ 9085 resin, which is a material approved by Airbus, the parts are light yet strong and are in accordance with the Flame, smoke and toxic (FST) requirements for the internal structure of the aircraft.
The advantages of 3D printing parts were further reaffirmed by Dan Yalon, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Marketing & Vertical Solutions for Stratasys, who said: “Our additive manufacturing solutions can produce complex parts on-demand, ensuring on time delivery while streamlining supply chains. 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.”
Ultimately, the integration of 3D printed parts into A350 WXB marks the increasing progress and acceptance of Additive manufacturing in the Aerospace industry. Through 3D Printing technology, businesses and organizations are able to enjoy a wide range of benefits and achieve new breakthroughs in the production process.
For more information about Stratasys and their collaboration with Airbus for the 3D printed aircraft parts, please proceed here.