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3D printed flight parts for Airbus A350 XWB aircraft

News International-French

15 May 2015

Stratasys additive manufacturing chosen by Airbus to produce 3D printed flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft, using Sabic resin.

The aircraft manufacturer has produced more than 1000 flight parts on its Stratasys FDM 3D production systems for use in the first-of-type A350 XWB aircraft, delivered in December 2014. The 3D printed parts were used in place of traditionally manufactured parts to increase supply chain flexibility, enabling Airbus to meet its delivery commitment on time.

Airbus initiated development and certification of 3D printing with Stratasys in 2013 as a schedule risk reduction activity that proved valuable for the A350 XWB program and highlights a key benefit of 3D printing in the manufacturing industry.

The parts are 3D printed using ULTEM 9085 resin for FDM, which is certified to an Airbus material specification. ULTEM 9085 resin provides high strength-to-weight ratio and is FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) compliant for aircraft interior applications. This enables Airbus to manufacture strong, lighter weight parts while substantially reducing production time and manufacturing costs.

ULTEM is a registered trademark of Sabic or affiliates or subsidiaries. The ULTEM Resin family of amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI) resins offers thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness, and broad chemical resistance. It is available in transparent and opaque custom colors, as well as glass filled grades.

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