The possibilities and scope of 3D printing is constantly growing. The French company Stelia Aerospace introduced the first printed smarminess panel of aircraft fuselage of inexpensive, lightweight and environmentally friendly components.

Aerospace manufacturing is complex, labor intensive and high financial costs because we have to deal with hundreds of thousands of parts that need to be brought together into a final high-tech product. For example, the fuselage represent a tube of tonkosejanogo aluminum alloy, which is enhanced by a kind of “skeleton” — system of stiffeners.

The problem is that the stiffeners are installed using screws and welding, then the reliability of their installation must be carefully checked.

The fuselage with three – dimensional ribs- a joint project of Stelia Aerospace, Constellium aluminium, an engineering school Centrale Nantes and group CT Ingenierie. Solid metal sample with an area of 1 square meter was established robotic installation using so-called process WAAM (Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing).

It resembles the technology of 3D printing, when through the nozzle flows a molten plastic, shaping the object. Only in this case instead of plastic used aluminum wire, molten electric arc, and this means that the stiffening elements will be printed immediately, and not added later.

The company hopes that the new method will become the basis for full-scale production of additives, which greatly simplify the creation of complex metal structures.

Source — Stelia Aerospace