Airbus has recently decided to make significant investments in revolutionary additive layer manufacturing technologies (3D printing), with expanding capabilities that are demonstrating the company’s pioneering spirit to create new and better ways to fly.
At the centre of Airbus’ innovative efforts is the company’s new additive layer manufacturing initiative, which creates a grouping of experts and competencies from the aircraft manufacturer’s engineering, manufacturing engineering and procurement operations.
With this knowledge base, Airbus is well-positioned to define a vision, strategy and roadmap for applying 3D printing technologies. This approach will accelerate the company’s technical and industrial competencies and bring together research and technology activities directly with programmes, said Jerome Rascol, who heads this additive layer manufacturing initiative. This innovative technology also has been utilized to produce pylon components for the A320neo (new engine option) developmental aircraft in support of the flight test campaign, and for out-of-production spare parts on the A300/A310 Family of jetliners.
With its additive layer manufacturing initiative, the company is focused on taking its capabilities even further, Rascol explained. “There are surely applications and paradigm changes we have not thought of yet. We are thinking every day about ways to 3D print tomorrow’s technology for airframes, cabins and systems.”