Each type of aircraft has its own perfect weight ratio that helps it to fly safer, faster, and more efficiently. One of the major deciding factors that can affect this is the weight of components that goes into the manufacturing. It can be anything from a small bolt to the ventilation shafts and even the engine parts. Weight reduction of components can help the aircraft perform better.
3D printing technology is one of the latest methods that can help manufacturers to reduce the weight of aircraft by a great margin. With the optimized production procedures and steps, 3D printers can print continuously without any errors continuously. Parts like air tubes, wall panels, seat frames, seat belts, overhead features, etc can be easily replaced with 3D printed models that weigh less than the conventional parts.
Here is a list of ways where 3D printing is used in the aerospace industry.
- Interior aircraft components
- Fixtures, gauges, and templates
- Placeholder parts
- Metal brackets
Benefits of 3D Printing in Aircraft Component Manufacturing
- Fewer materials used
- Parts with High Strength
- Reduce aircraft weight
- Tool-less manufacturing
- Design to production
Let’s explore more on how 3D printing technology is transforming aircraft component manufacturing.
Fewer Materials Used
3D printing is also called additive manufacturing where you create the product by adding materials and designing at the same time. This feature helps the manufacturer to utilize lesser materials for manufacturing. The traditional methods require materials for tool fixtures, cutting down extra parts, molding materials, and much more. Compared to that, 3D-printed aircraft component manufacturers need to use only the raw materials for the component, which are then ready to use directly.
Parts with High Strength
The complexity of the parts built for aircraft is high. the combination of multiple materials can be combined into one single part with 3D printing. It helps the manufacturers to create something that is more complex and with high strength. The fluid building capabilities of 3D printing help reduce weight. For example, urethane casting.
Traditional aircraft component manufacturing consists of many different raw materials and parts for production. The long list of materials and support tools sometimes costs more than the actual product cost itself. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, utilize precision build techniques that use only the materials and tools that are absolutely necessary. Modified parts and upgrades can be manufactured with slight adjustments to the already-using tools. Compared to the traditional methods, this process is almost tool-less manufacturing.