Airbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part by Arconic on production commercial aircraft

PITTSBURGH. Airbus and Arconic achieved a 3D printing first: the installation of a 3D-printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic (NYSE:ARNC), a global technology, engineering, and advanced manufacturing company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is 3D printing the parts for Airbus’s newest wide-body aircraft at the company’s additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.

Airbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part by Arconic on production commercial aircraft
Airbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part by Arconic on production commercial aircraft

PITTSBURGH. Airbus and Arconic achieved a 3D printing first: the installation of a 3D-printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic (NYSE:ARNC), a global technology, engineering, and advanced manufacturing company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is 3D printing the parts for Airbus’s newest wide-body aircraft at the company’s additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.

This first installation of a 3D-printed titanium part on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft marks a milestone for additive manufacturing in aerospace. Aircraft manufacturers have been using 3D-printed parts for quite some time, largely for components inside the cabin. Equipping airframes with metal parts produced by additive manufacturing is new.

Airbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part by Arconic on production commercial aircraftAirbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part by Arconic on production commercial aircraftArconic and Airbus achieve a 3D printing first: the installation of a 3D printed titanium bracket, shown here, onto a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. (Photo: Business Wire)

Airbus’s installation of this 3D-printed titanium bracket on a series production commercial airplane, as opposed to a test airplane, marks a significant step forward in the qualification of more complex 3D-printed parts for production aircraft. 3D-printed parts, including metal printed cabin brackets and bleed pipes, are already flying on Airbus A320neo and A350 XWB test aircraft.

Airbus A350xwb

This 3D printed titanium bracket is part of an ongoing partnership between Airbus and Arconic. Last year, Arconic announced three agreements with Airbus to produce titanium and nickel 3D printed parts for commercial aircraft, including the A320 platform and A350 XWB. These agreements draw on Arconic’s 3D printing technology capabilities, including laser powder bed and electron beam processes.

“Arconic is proud to partner with Airbus to advance aerospace additive manufacturing,” says Jeremy Halford, president of Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products. “Our comprehensive capabilities, from materials science leadership to qualification expertise, helped make this achievement possible. We look forward to continuing to advance the art of the possible in additive for aerospace.”

Arconic (NYSE:ARNC) solves complex engineering challenges to transform the way we fly, drive, build, and power through the ingenuity of people and cutting-edge advanced manufacturing techniques.

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