2016 Aerospace study
Mazars Group is pleased to present you with ‘Supplier of the Fittest: How to manage significant increases in production effectively’, our new global publication in the Aerospace & Defense industry.
3D printing soon the origin of 40% of an airplane
Additive manufacturing (by addition of matter) of 3D printers allows the manufacturers of the sector to quickly innovate, to carry out rigorous tests and to develop more efficient tools, in short term, and with ergonomics of greater use. All this, allows to optimize resources and reduce production costs.
The major players in the aerospace sector have started a certification approach of a significant number of parts that include this manufacturing process. A prerequisite before industrializing production. The limitations of the aeronautical sector impose an important work of R&D, technology certification, materials, suppliers ...
In general, a high precision of the design and production, a reduction of the residues of matter and a reduction of the costs and time of production. The maintenance required is less important, the printers can work at night. In the aeronautical sector, 3D printing is also synonymous of reducing weight in aircraft, as well as reducing fuel consumption and improving performance. Finally, builders can reduce their tool because assembly is not required: everything is printed in one piece.
Materials used in the aerospace sector, such as ULTEM 9085 (FDM thermoplastic, for "molded material deposit modeling") are approved for their high force / weight ratio in compliance with FST (flammability, smoke and toxicity) standards for its application to the interior of airplanes. It is the ideal material for cabin applications such as the design of conduits, protective cover and electrical box.
Airbus uses it to produce parts for its A350XWB aircraft. The force / weight ratio allows to create robust, lighter parts, significantly reducing manufacturing costs and execution times. Thus, some companies can perform complex assemblies with 16 parts instead of 140, reducing costs and risks through additive manufacturing. NASA has used 3D printing to produce more than 70 pieces of the "Rover" tested on the rocks and sand of the Arizona desert before sending it to the planet Mars. The rapid generation of prototypes has allowed them to optimize the aerodynamic design of their vehicles.
Experts agree that within 10 years, at least 40 to 50% of the components of the aircraft will be produced with 3D printing, instead of the 4 to 5% that we currently have. Ten years later, there will be a limited number of pieces that will not be created by additive printing, or that will not resort to this technology during its production.
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