This article is a repost from tctmagazine.com.
Paramount to additive manufacturing is the ability to create objects we wouldn’t have previously thought possible. We’ve heard a lot about these ‘impossible objects’, sometimes it’s the AM experts that are offering these breakthrough ideas to various industries and other times it’s the clients themselves, major industrial companies, asking ‘is this even possible?’
The aerospace industry has provided some major headline grabbing developments over the last few years and that’s been even more evident in just the last few months. Talk to anyone about 3D printing and chances are they’ve heard one of the more famous examples like the one about the plane that’s being flown with 1,000 3D printed parts or the one with the huge 3D printed turbine.
The radical fact about aerospace is we’re not just talking about prototypes but real functional parts that are being used in aircraft, some of which have been on commercial vehicles for the last year without the need for a huge parade and ceremony to back them up.
Airbus was the name behind the recent sexy “1,000 3D printed parts on board an aircraft” story that saw Stratasys FDM 3D Production Systems used in place of traditionally manufactured metal parts.
Stratasys, Aerospace & Defense Business Development Manager, Scott Sevcik, explained: “With Airbus they identified a risk within the supply chain and with bringing parts to the aircraft in time so they looked at 3D printing as an alternate means of production. They spent about a year qualifying the material and the process so they could have high confidence in putting these parts on aircraft and meeting certification requirements. Once they reached that threshold of having the specifications in place and being able to meet them that opened up a world of opportunity for them and they took advantage of it and in the A350 case, printing a large number of parts for the first few aircraft.”