Talking about the current situation of 3D printing application in aerospace field

The so-called 3D printing is like stacking a cake. The metal powder is stacked on top of each other through a printing machine, and then melted by a laser, and the finished product is printed on top, so it is called an “additive” process. Traditional machine tools use a “subtraction” method to cut metal into a set shape to meet customer requirements.

In order to reduce the weight of aircraft, some parts of the aircraft that cannot be welded but need to be fixed with rivets can be printed directly through 3D printing, so that the components can be integrally formed to strengthen the structure, and the weight of the aircraft can also be reduced. 3D printing to make aircraft parts will reduce the weight of the original parts by 40%~60%, but it will not affect the functionality of the finished product. More flexibility in converting material savings into design and engineering.

3D printing simplifies the processing procedure and directly prints a small number of various products, which can save the time of mold opening. For example, GE, a major aerospace engine manufacturer, needs more than ten sets of molds to manufacture the engine injectors used on the engine, but 3D printing only requires one process, saving a lot of cost and time. People from all walks of life are optimistic that 3D printing can gradually enter the aerospace field with high added value.

The Boeing Company of the United States and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) have created a world record for the largest 3D printed object, which will be used to manufacture the wings of the next-generation Boeing 777X airliner in the future. It takes 30 days to produce the wing with traditional technology, but it can be shortened to 30 hours with 3D printing.

In addition to shortening manufacturing time, Boeing also hopes to reduce aircraft manufacturing costs through 3D printing technology. For example, the Boeing 787 airliner requires more titanium alloy than ordinary aircraft because it uses titanium fiber fuselage and wings. 3D printing titanium alloy parts will save 2-3 million US dollars in the manufacturing cost of each 787 aircraft.

Of course, Airbus in Europe will not be absent from 3D printing technology. As early as in the A350XWB passenger aircraft parts, more than 1,000 3D printing parts were used, becoming the passenger aircraft that used the most 3D printing parts. This is a significant advance because the new lightweight material can significantly reduce production time and cost while meeting aviation safety standards. At the Berlin Air Show held in Germany, Airbus also displayed a fully 3D printed small aircraft, and it can fly. Airbus said it was an experiment and that aircraft may be built this way in the future.

The most important core “engine” of an aircraft is also expected to be manufactured through 3D printing in the future. Australian researchers have created the world’s first 3D-printed aircraft engine, a breakthrough that could shorten manufacturing timelines and lead to cheaper, lighter and fuel-efficient aircraft in the future. The publication of groundbreaking research has attracted the attention of major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus Group.

3D printing can also be applied in the space field. NASA released a video showing astronauts trying to use 3D printers on the space station for the first time. NASA also stated that if the future implementation goes well, astronauts can even be self-sufficient through 3D printing when exploring the universe. NASA stated that if 3D printing is successfully implemented, astronauts in the future will be able to print and repair some parts by themselves during long-term space exploration, and they will no longer have to wait for supplies provided from the earth. Opportunity to explore further planets.

In addition, NASA astronauts are also trying to test whether 3D printing will be affected in the gravity-free outer space environment. The first part printed in outer space will be sent back to Earth in 2015, allowing researchers to test the difference between the earth and outer space. NASA 3D printing project manager Niki Werkheiser said that astronauts may follow the results of the gravity test. , Adjust the 3D printer to make the surface integrity of the printed product better.

All kinds of aircraft parts are in great need of lightweight, and 3D printing has become the secret weapon of the aviation industry. In the future, 3D printing materials will continue to break through, and more high-strength metal printing applications will appear.

Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site.