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3D printed aircraft component

3D printed aircraft component

3D printed aircraft component

Hello everyone,

I recently bought a 3D printer at home and I discover the joy to create parts with complex geometry for the day life. So I was wondering what could be the application in aircraft design. In fact this technology is 30 years old and if I don't say anything wrong there is just few parts that are actually flying.
I saw that Airbus intends to include 1000 3d printed parts in the next A350 series, but do you think we can actually 3D printing component like Ribs, nose ribs or other wing component for example?

Have a nice day everyone

RE: 3D printed aircraft component

Boeing have used 3D printed parts on non-commercial projects. They have properly characterised the material properties. No, they probably won't share this.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: 3D printed aircraft component

I expect the parts that either have no other means of manufacture or those which are made in such small volumes they feel the alternative methods are too expensive.

There are a lot of limitations to the various additive manufacturing processes, but expense is at the top, with the difficulty in getting good material properties a close second.

One area that is of interest is that one should be able to continuously vary the material properties though a part. Right now this is available as a color shift ability in a few FDM (fused deposition manufacturing) printers, but the metal spray systems could change the alloy to allow, for example, a part with a hardened exterior and a tough interior (with correct heat treating as required.)

RE: 3D printed aircraft component

The space industry seems to have taken a major step in using 3D printing. Just last week RocketLabs launched its maiden test flight of the electron rocket using a rocket engine who's primary parts have been entirely 3D printed in just 24Hrs!

Their CEO Peter Beck claims and I quote "“The 3D-printed engine is a big part of that, right now, with six printers, we can produce one engine every 24 hours, so if we need to produce more engines, we can just buy more printers. We put ourselves in a very scalable situation, and now we just need to execute on that.”

A complete article on their impressive achievement is available at:


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