If you aren’t constantly immersed in the world of 3D printing and the changes already happening within a multitude of industries—and especially aerospace—you might be surprised, like many others, to find out how committed major companies like Airbus are to 3D printing. It’s not just a passing fancy either as they have made headlines with prototypes for their helicopter camera mounts and more recently even a completely 3D printed plane that flies like a pro.
Now, Airbus will be welcoming a new piece of hardware to their manufacturing department with the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) 110 System from Sciaky, Inc., a 3D printer we reported on as it was unveiled in a new lineup just last year. The addition of the EBAM 3D printer is meant to further Airbus’ endeavors in metal, as they will be using the machine to make large titanium parts.
What makes EBAM technology unique is its ability to create highly dense, durable parts that don’t require any post-printing heat application, thanks to an electron beam that completely liquefies a metal wire feed. Parts are printed in a vacuum environment with extremely high temperatures of up to 1000°C. EBAM allows users to create metal components even faster, with the ability to deposit anywhere from seven to 20 pounds of material every hours. The technology offers an enormous opportunity for self-sustainability in making metal components that are better and more affordable—and in some cases, pieces that could not have been created any other way. Parts that may be considered obsolete can also be quickly re-created.
The 110 System combines CAD, electron beam directed energy deposition, and layer-additive processing in metal. Parts are created as the electron beam gun fabricates multiple layers until near-net shape is achieved. The end result is a durable, high quality metal part that leaves behind little waste.
- Stainless steels
Sciaky states that although this is an extremely high performance machine capable of offering great precision, it’s also very low maintenance, with filaments able to be exchanged within ten minutes. The closed-loop technology allows for automation, and there is also a camera system that allows the user to keep an eye on the molten pool. Temperature can be constantly monitored and adjusted.
“Sciaky is very proud to partner with a world-class innovator like Airbus,” said Bob Phillips, Vice President of Marketing for Sciaky, Inc. “We all know that metal 3D printing technology is going to revolutionize manufacturing in the aerospace industry, and Sciaky is committed to being at the forefront of this movement.”
Airbus is cashing in on the benefits not just of EBAM technology here but also the overall benefits of 3D printing. With this high-performance printer on site, the France-headquartered company can continue in their mission to lead in the future of aircraft, from jets to planes to drones—and who knows what is next! As Airbus integrates 3D printing further into the world of aerospace they are able to cut out the time-consuming process of dealing with the middleman and embark on projects and manufacturing at will, along with making refinements—and completely new parts—as needed. Discuss in the Airbus forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: MM&D]
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