3D Printing Takes Flightkyle maxey
posted on August 26, 2012 |
Parmy Olsen has an interesting article discussing one of the directions that Airbus is looking to take when manufacturing future aircraft.
Airbus envisions creating whole aircraft with hanger sized 3D printers, and IT contends that aircraft manufactured in this manner could be “cheaper, and can result in components that are 65% lighter than with traditional manufacturing methods.”
Central to Airbus’s idea is the notion that 3D printers can accurately produce the necessary characteristics that a component needs at each point along its body. For example, a part needs to be rigid at both it’s top and bottom, but it’s middle needs to be flexible. Airbus designers believe this type of material flexibility will be key in future aircraft design innovation and that 3D printing will be the most effective way to deliver results.