2016 Airbus will realize the industrialization of metal 3D printing production. Before, Airbus and LazerZentrumNorth engineering company TheLiving and Autodesk design studio cooperation, for the Airbus A320 aircraft developed a large "bionic" cabin isolation structure. Through the new super strong, light alloy material using direct metal laser sintering technology 3D printing. This work has been carried out for 5 years, in 2016, Airbus will begin this serial production of parts called Scalmalloy. It is understood that the parts of the production equipment for the MetalFAB1 AdditiveIndustries system, the huge integrated metal additive manufacturing equipment in terms of repeatability, flexibility and productivity is 10 times higher than other similar systems.
Figure Scalmalloy cabin isolation structure
2016, Airbus is the first to achieve the industrialization of titanium 3D printing, because titanium is the most expensive material, through 3D printing to reduce waste of titanium metal will play an important role. Around the end of 2017, Airbus will be extended to the application of stainless steel and aluminum parts processing.
The plan will be carried out through an in-house production (Airbus three European plants, including Germany, the UK and France), as well as external outsourcing. One of the outsourcing plants is PremiumAerotec, which opened its first metal reinforced manufacturing plant in northern Germany (PAG).
Airbus's current equipment includes ConceptLaser, SLMSolutions and EOS. These are selective laser melting equipment. And its factories in the UK are trying to use Arcam's EBM selective electron beam melting process to manufacture parts.
Airbus also uses Sciaky's arc welding 3D printing equipment to produce large parts at a rate of up to 1 kg per hour. However, this technology focuses on how to reduce costs and time, rather than for lightweight parts manufacturing, and lightweight is the aerospace industry commitment and direction of development.
Airbus and South Africa's Aerosud aviation engineering company, to try a larger size of 3D printing manufacturing technology. The parts produced by this technology are planned for industrial use in 2018. At present, the speed of printing titanium metal is 66 cubic millimeter / second, which is 1kg per hour, the size of the parts is to reach 2 meters, for the 3D printing industry, this is an amazing size.