Airbus A350 XWB aircraft has more than 1,000 3D-printed parts

The Airbus A350 XWB was delivered to Qatar Airlines in December 2014.

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Airbus (Toulouse, France) used 3D printing technology from Stratasys (Eden Prairie, MN, US) to produce more than 1,000 flight parts for use in the A350 XWB aircraft. The 3D-printed parts were used in place of traditionally manufactured parts to ensure Airbus met its delivery commitment on time. Airbus initiated development and certification of 3D printing with Stratasys in 2013 as a schedule risk reduction activity.

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, lightweight parts while reportedly reducing production time and manufacturing costs.

“We are delighted that Stratasys additive manufacturing solutions are being adopted by Airbus for its flagship A350 XWB aircraft. Both companies share a vision of applying innovative technologies to design and manufacturing to create game-changing benefits,” said Dan Yalon, executive vice president of business development, marketing & vertical solutions for Stratasys. “Our additive manufacturing solutions can produce complex parts on-demand, ensuring on time delivery while streamlining supply chains. Additive manufacturing also greatly improves the buy-to-fly ratio as significantly less material is wasted than with conventional manufacturing methods. Stratasys is looking forward to bringing these and other advantages to its collaboration with Airbus."