Airbus To Use TRUMPF 3D Printing Technology on New Aircraft

Published on October 19, 2023 by Michael M.

Airbus, the aeronautics giant, is no stranger to using 3D printed parts in its aircraft, having done so and continuing to refine the technology for several years now. However, this year, a subsidiary of the brand, Airbus Helicopters SAS has announced that it is using metal 3D printed parts for its upcoming designs. Using machinery from German 3D printer manufacturer, TRUMPF, it will manufacture parts for its new helicopters and aircraft at a new 3D printing center in Germany. The company is implementing additive manufacturing on a number of specific models such as the electric CityAirbus, the experimental high-speed Racer helicopter, and the Airbus A350 and A320 passenger aircraft.

Helmut Färber, head of the 3D printing center at Airbus Helicopters SAS in Donauwörth, explained the importance of 3D printed parts by explaining, “With innovative manufacturing processes, we are working on the helicopters of the future. Among other things, 3D printing helps reduce the weight of components.” Thanks to these lighter 3D printed parts, Airbus Helicopters SAS operators are able to reduce costs and CO2 emissions during flights, all thanks to lower fuel consumption. Additionally, the use of additive manufacturing makes it possible to print entire components as if they were a single piece, further saving weight on the aircraft. What has caught the attention of many is that these components are extremely stable, meeting a series of very strict safety requirements that are applied to aircraft.

Photo credits: Airbus

Richard Bannmüller, CEO of TRUMPF Laser and System Technology, further commented on the partnership by saying, “With its manufacturing know-how, TRUMPF is a reliable partner to the aviation industry worldwide. Our 3D printing systems are a key technology on the path to sustainable flying and they reduce dependency on long supply chains.”

With TRUMPF machines, Airbus Helicopters SAS is able to manufacture high-strength structural components because of TRUMPF printers’ capability to print with metals such as titanium and aluminum. These metal powder 3D printers allow users to reuse the leftover powder not used in the printing process, unlike other additive manufacturing processes, which typically require more material than is needed for the part in the print. As Bannmüller points out, “Additive manufacturing saves expensive raw material and can lower production costs in the aviation industry. 3D printers only use the material that designers actually need for their components and that ends up taking off in the aircraft.” To learn more about Airbus and TRUMPF, you can read about it HERE.

Photo credits: TRUMPF

What do you think of Airbus using TRUMPF’s 3D printers to build parts for its aircraft? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*Cover Photo Credits: Airbus


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