For the first time Airbus has completed the installation of a titanium 3D-printed bracket on an in-series production A350 XWB.
The bracket, built using additive-layer manufacturing (ALM) technologies (also known as 3D printing), is part of the aircraft pylon, the junction section between wings and engines. This is the first step toward qualification of more complex 3D-printed parts to be installed on production aircraft.
Additive-layer manufacturing ‘grows’ products from a fine base material powder – such as aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and plastics – by adding thin layers of material in incremental stages, which enables complex components to be produced directly from computer-aided design (CAD) information.
There are 3D-printed parts already flying on some of Airbus’s A320neo and A350 XWB test aircraft. These include metal printed cabin brackets and bleed pipes.
September 14, 2017