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Airbus A350 XWB 3D printed titanium brackets

3D Printing Finds its way Aboard Commercial Aircraft

The aerospace industry is no stranger to 3D printing. Some of the top companies working in aerospace have used, and continue to use, 3D printing technology. GE used the technology to help build the largest jet engine to date. The 3D printed parts have been used on many prototypes and test projects. But Arconic and Airbus are bringing 3D printed parts to commercial aircraft.

In another “first” for 3D printing, Arconic is producing titanium brackets to be used on Airbus’s latest widebody aircraft. The brackets will be installed on the series production aircraft, the A350 XWB.

3D printed titanium bracket for Airbus A350 XWB

A 3D printed titanium bracket is installed on a commercial A350 XWB aircraft.

Airbus is already flying with 3D printed parts on test aircraft. Both the A320 and A350 XWB test planes feature these parts. The parts are typically installed inside the cabin. But, these titanium brackets are installed on the airframe, the mechanical structure of an airplane.

Using 3D printed parts on the body of the plane is also new to the industry.  This new advancement is a big step forward in terms of bringing more complex 3D printed parts to manufacturing processes for aircrafts.

The titanium brackets are just the beginning of a budding relationship between Arconic and Airbus. The two companies have more agreements in place for Arconic to produce titanium and nickel 3D printed parts. These parts will be used on production for commercial A320 air craft, as well as the A350 XWB aircraft.

Arconic and Airbus are both leaders in their respective industries. With each company always pushing the limits of new technology, this seems like a great partnership. Both companies are hoping this partnership will be able to advance additive manufacturing and 3D printing in aerospace. An industry that will surely benefit from the new technology.

Jeremy Halford, President of Arconic, had this to say about the new achievement, ““Our comprehensive capabilities, from materials science leadership to qualification expertise, helped make this achievement possible. We look forward to continuing to advance the art of the possible in additive for aerospace.”

A big draw for Airbus is Arconic’s cutting-edge 3D technology. From their expertise in advanced alloys and capabilities for printing and machining parts to aerospace standards. The company will surely be a big player in manufacturing for the aerospace industry for years to come.

Be on the look out for more aerospace and 3D printing news coming your way. We are just starting to see more companies adopt the technology in larger ways. Soon every plane you fly on will feature many 3D printed parts.






News via: Business Wire

Photos via: Airbus and Business Wire


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