Fast Production at low costs are the main advantages of wire-based additive manufacturing technologies for aircraft applications. The aircraft industry is among the leaders in 3D printing of metal parts.
Within the Regis project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, Airbus is working on the application of additive manufacturing with various companies. GEFERTEC was chosen to contribute as a partner due to its invention of the additive 3DMP-technology, which allows for fast and cost-effective production of larger parts.
This method is based on electric arc welding and benefits from wire as original material. The near-net-shaped part is formed welding layer by welding layer.
This technology offers a range of advantages compared to other additive manufacturing methods, especially when compared with those based on powder as original material.
The Regis project intends to overcome the geometrical restrictions, often due to the limited working space of other technologies for 3D printing of metal parts. Wire-based methods with high production rates up to 650cm3/h used in combination with joining technology for the manufacturing of integral structural components will be developed to industry grade standards. When compared to standard manufacturing, the costs could be reduced by 50%.
“Airbus considers wire-based high performance additive manufacturing methods, like GEFERTEC´s 3DMP-technology, to provide enormous cost and resource saving potentials in manufacturing of structural components in the aerospace industry. Together with our Regis team partners we aim to develop methods for additive manufacturing of larger parts along the entire process chain,” says Dr. Jens Telgkamp, Head of Additive Layer Manufacturing Research & Technology (ESCRNA team) with Airbus Operations GmbH.
In its first stage, the project focuses on using titanium materials. Titanium parts of medium size have the largest saving potential, as the portion of the raw material being milled to chips can reach up to 90% in conventional manufacturing. In the second project phase, the partners will concentrate on aluminium materials, which should allow for new construction methods of aircraft components.