Airbus has awarded a contract extension to Stratasys for the production of 3D-printed polymer aircraft.
While the initial contract with Stratasys was focused on production parts for the A350, this contract extension expands the range of parts printed for Airbus to include replacement and spare parts for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), as well as parts for other aircraft platforms such as the A300, A330, A340 and A320.
Stratasys predicts that, as the aviation industry recovers from travel restrictions, it will increasingly turn to additive manufacturing to create strong yet lightweight parts and consolidated assemblies.
Having a digital inventory of 3D-printable spare parts can also make MRO operations more agile and cost efficient.
Stratasys is a technology, materials and parts supplier to Airbus, with its industrial FDM (fused deposition modelling) systems providing easy repeatability in manufacturing.
FDM extrudes thermoplastics through a heated nozzle, which melts the material and then it layer by layer to build parts.