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Additive Manufacturing

Aircraft parts are already coming out of the 3D printer

The aerospace industry is relying increasingly on additive manufacturing. It is not always easy to reconcile this new technology with the high safety requirements in the sector, however.

02 Jun. 2018

The aerospace industry relies on highly specialized components. Often there are few companies – or even only a single company – that produce them, and these are usually far from the aircraft that needs a new part. Delivery can take several days. And that can be a minor disaster for an industry that has to manage with very tight turnaround times in the flight schedule and a limited number of spare aircraft. This is one of the reasons why the sector is increasingly opting for products from a 3D printer. On the one hand, this saves significant time awaiting delivery and also lowers production and vacancy costs. Additive manufacturing also promises weight reductions and a smaller number of welded seams.

In addition to the high safety requirements in terms of product quality, the companies are also worried about cyber attacks and industrial espionage. The issue here is all of the product data that must be provided for printing. The Boeing aircraft corporation is therefore cooperating with the Israeli software startup Assembrix . The company monitors the entire digital process and supplies a complex, multi-stage algorithm to encrypt the printing data.