Paris Air Show 2015: 3D printing takes off

A350_XWBIf the stars of the 2015 edition of the Paris Air Show are primarily planes, among the 2,200 exhibitors, all major players in the aerospace present had a thematic 3D printing or rather ” additive manufacturing “to present to their clients, their partners. Airbus course which revealed that 1,000 pieces of its new A350 XWB had been produced in 3D printing, but also Safran in Paris that brought his first turbojet 100% “additive” and even engineering companies like Altran and that Segula today are industrial in this development, besides some dynamic startups that boost the development of this new sector.

3D printing, a new way to produce aerospace components, another way of conceiving

SafranThe phase where 3D printing was still one of rapid prototyping tools is making room for the industrial phase. While the jet engine, which is actually an APU, directed by Microturbo and researchers from Monash University is still a demonstrator, but 3D printing is taking hold in the engines and in a number of complex parts. The Paris Air Show was the opportunity to discover some examples. Evidence of this trend, Safran and Dassault Systèmes have announced an alliance to develop a solution that will help ensure a “digital” continuity of aviation parts, from design to their additive manufacturing.

Model of reactor matte 1 / 8th Sogeclair presented by the Bourget Air Show 2015. (Photo: Sogeclair)

3D printed model of engine pylon presented by Sogeclair presented at Paris Air Show 2015. (Photo: Sogeclair)

A brilliant illustration of what 3D printing will change in the aviation sector was presented on the stand of French Sogeclair. It presents a model of a reactor mat for an Airbus A320 type aircraft. The original play is 6 meters long and weighs no less than 450 kg and is an assembly of 654 pieces. Redesigned for 3D printing, including with the help of Altair software, for the same mechanical characteristics, the piece weighs more than 350 kg and above is no longer made up only 14 pieces! The model presented was printed on an EOS polyamide printer, but the original, if installed one day under the wing of an airplane will be produced in Inconel 718, an alloy commonly used in aeronautics. In the same approach, Segula present on its stand of a piston helium Ariane 5 launcher prodallée one day under the wing of an aircraft will produiuit in a version by its engineers redesigned to be produced in a single piece . It was produced by a titanium 3D Systems printer.

The main 3D printer manufacturers are Bourget but also innovative startups

The pop3d 3D printer designed to operate in weightlessness by engineers from Altran Italia (Photo: Altran).

The pop3d 3D printer designed to operate in weightlessness by engineers from Altran Italia (Photo: Altran).

Altran rival Segula, chose to bring in a Paris production of Altran Italia, the pop3d. This 3D printer prototype was designed for ESA to run weightless. It will take one day the way of space for installation in the international station.

Among the manufacturers of 3D printers has to be represented at the Paris Air Show, Figure 3D Systems, came with his Creatix3D distributor. The opportunity to see in action the imposing 400 ProX, a true production plant in cabable cube to produce metal parts of relatively large dimensions. Stratasys his rival made the trip and present some of its achievements in the aviation sector with 1,000 pieces made for the A350, or United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, produces parts intended for flight in 3D printing for the Atlas V rocket, which would save a million dollars a year for the company.

MobileCLADThe Prodways French, French champion of 3D printing and subsidiary Gorgé group was unfortunately not the Paris Air Show, for against Alsatian Beam presented its additive technology CLAD available including a machine three to five mobile axes. After Chromalloy, the startup landed a first contract with Safran that will install the first machine in its R & amp center; D Safran Tech.

Besides Stratasys and 3D Systems, another major manufacturer of 3D printer has not crossed the Atlantic but the Rhine, EOS. The German manufacturer, which designs 3D printers capable of producing parts in different alloys used in aircraft is already present among industry suppliers. On the Paris Air Show, it presented a new evolution of its EOSINT P 396 printer whose production capacity was increased by 30%. He also announced new high strength polymers for these machines. The fair was an opportunity for him to detail two major contracts, one with the engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, the second with Bell Helicopters.

Parts made of 3D printing in the PurePower 1100 Pratt & amp; Whitney A320neo.

Parts made of 3D printing in the PurePower 1100 Pratt & amp; Whitney A320neo.

MTU has announced plans to produce with its EOS 3D printer parts for engines Pratt & amp; Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM engine that will be fitted to production of Airbus A320neo. The German began using 3D printing 10 years ago and now has 7 large capacity EOS printers. Industrial estimates that within 15 years, a significant part of aircraft engine components will be produced by additive manufacturing techniques.

For its part, Bell Helicopters has established EOSINT P 730 EOSINT P printers and a system including 760 to produce pipes for air-conditioning systems of its machines and spare parts. Certified by the civil aviation parts. Bell Helicopters announces implement 40 additive manufacturing systems and most are now intended to produce components and final assemblies. We are far from the time when 3D printing only served as designers to create prototypes!

Translation : Google Translate

Sources :

“How 3D printing is driving efficiency in aviation”, EuroNews, June 11, 2015

“United Launch Alliance saves $1m a year by 3D printing rocket components from plastic”, International Business Times, April 17, 2015

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