Airbus is going to make their aircraft parts using 3D printers
North Western Polytechnical University in China and Airbus have agreed on exploring the possibilities of making use of 3D printers and technologies in trading aviation sector. Airbus is looking for possible ways of employing 3D printing to make small parts or maybe bigger components for aircraft line.
The enterprise focuses on printing parts of aircraft during one printing activity, which would reduce costs and increase material resistance when being 3D printed. According to the agreement, NPU are to produce test samples of titanium alloy constituents for Airbus with the help of Laser Solid Forming technology. The samples should be produced in accordance with Airbus requirements, further they will be measured and judged by Airbus.
Airbus is also planning the ways of manufacturing larger aircraft components using 3D printing. That would be useful to create profitable plane components on demand.
The State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing in NPU started studying Laser Solid Forming in 1995. They focused on achieving perfect mechanical properties of 3D printed metal parts by controlling the material and its micrоstruсturеs carefully.
In 2013 the laboratory managed to construct the central wing spar for Comac C919 passenger plane which is going to come into commercial service and regular use in 2016. The length of the central wing spar is about 5 meters. Its physical properties satisfy the standard of forging parts. 3D printing is likely to become usual in building parts of airplanes for they are considerably cheaper, and the components produced are much lighter. 3D printing in building planes is reasonable because of its cost-reducing and weight saving properties and capabilities.