Airbus Helicopters to start large-scale printing of A350 XWB components

Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth has officially commenced the production of latch shafts for A350 XWB passenger aircraft doors using 3D manufacturing. This innovation contributes to cost reduction and environmental sustainability, aligning with Airbus's goal to offer more economical and eco-friendly aircraft. Airbus Helicopters, a supplier for Airbus, undertakes the production of doors for all Airbus aircraft programs. The redesign of the latch shafts and the introduction of the new 3D printing process represent Airbus's first large-scale endeavor in metallic 3D printing.

The latch shafts are created with an EOS M 400-4 printer, using titanium powder. Four laser beams melt the powder and construct the components layer by layer, resulting in lighter yet equally robust parts, using significantly less material. One printing process can yield up to 28 latch shafts, which are 45% lighter and 25% cheaper to produce compared to traditional versions. Since each A350 XWB requires 16 latch shafts, adopting 3D printing saves over four kilograms per aircraft. Airbus Helicopters plans to produce 2,200 components annually when full production capacity is reached. Qualification was set to conclude at the end of 2018, with serial production starting in early 2019, and the first A350 XWB components with serial number 420 were expected to be deployed in 2020.

Furthermore, Airbus Helicopters aims to expand the use of 3D printing for A350 XWB door components and helicopter parts, emphasizing the importance of integrating 3D printing into the initial planning stages for new components. Weight reduction is particularly crucial for helicopters. Airbus is preparing for the industrialization of 3D-printed helicopter components. EOS Technology is a critical partner in this venture, providing Airbus with the high-quality and reproducible systems needed for the certification process.

Read the full press release here.

Document Details and Download

Date published
21 September 2021
Publisher (Company, Organisation)
Airbus Helicopters
Companies mentioned (up to 8); separate by Semikolon
Airbus Helicopters

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