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At its Autodesk University conference and exhibition in Las Vegas, the US software manufacturer announced the imminent start of production of a partition wall dividing the passenger compartment from the galley for the Airbus A320. The project began back in 2015 with a feasibility study. In the following years, Autodesk’s generative design software was used to find the final, optimized shape for the wall. The software was fed a number of specifications regarding weight, stability, functionality, thickness, and attachment of the part. Using an algorithm, it then calculated all possible variants, including many that a human designer would probably never have come up with. The Airbus engineers finally opted for a version that was almost half the weight of the previous partition walls.

Based on the part’s geometric data, it is now also possible to print in 3D a plastic mold that can be used to produce the partition wall. Airbus also plans to leverage the process for the production of other parts in the future, including in the planned new engine assembly plant in Hamburg.