[Aviation Today March 17, 2014] Airbus
has signed a new agreement with China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) to explore ways to further apply 3D printing technology to commercial airframe production.
The French manufacturer is looking to use 3D printing technology to produce individual components for use in larger airframe structures. The partnership could lead to new methods that help cut production costs for Airbus
with the greater manufacturing flexibility offered by 3D printing, Airbus says.
Under the new agreement, NPU is providing test specimens of titanium alloy parts with its Laser Solid Forming (LSD) technology. Airbus will measure and asses the specimens, which NPU is manufacturing according to its airframe specifications.
“R&T joint projects with Airbus and Chinese universities are an important part of the growing strategic partnership between Airbus and China. This initiative is further evidence of Airbus’ continuing search for capturing the best ideas in the world and turning them into industrially effective technologies to ensure the sustainable development of aviation,” says Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, COO of Airbus China.