Airbus, the European aerospace giant, has been testing 3d printing for years. Including a drone that the company's engineers nicknamed "Thor".
Today the company announced that they'll be mass producing cabin parts with 3d printing using Stratasys' direct manufacturing platform, marking a signifigant step for additive manufacturing (3d printing) in the airplane business.
“Over the past several years, we’ve been announcing various steps in our collaboration with Airbus around their use of our technology,"Scott Sevcik, head of aerospace, defense and automotive at Stratasys told Engineering.com. Sevcik explained that the production of parts for Airbus' planes will begin with components needed for the cabin which are not tied to the structural integrity of the aircraft.
"In 2015, we announced that they had printed parts for the A350 and certified the process as part of their certification," he said. "Last year, we announced that they had standardized the technology and were flowing the process down into their supply chain.”
By 3d printing aircraft parts for the A350, Airbus will reduce their inventory costs, speed up the turnaround time for replacing broken or missing pieces and will cut down on material waste tied to manufacturing airplane components.
“What we’re able to now announce is that, in addition to being the technology provider, Airbus has selected our Stratasys Direct Manufacturing business to deliver serial production parts for the A350,” Sevcik said.