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TRUMPF provides 3D printing technology to Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters uses metal 3D printing to produce components for the electric-powered CityAirbus, the experimental high-speed Racer helicopter, and the Airbus A350 and A320 passenger aircraft, among others

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Aerospace company Airbus Helicopters, a subsidiary of parent company Airbus, is using TRUMPF’s 3D printers to manufacture components for its helicopters and aircraft. Airbus Helicopters is expanding its additive manufacturing capabilities with a new 3D printing center in Donauwörth, Germany, and TRUMPF is supplying the machines for metal 3D printing.

“With innovative manufacturing processes, we are working on the helicopters of the future in Donauwörth. Among other things, 3D printing helps reduce the weight of components,” said Helmut Färber, Site Manager of Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth. This helps aircraft operators reduce fuel consumption, and lower costs and CO2 emissions in flight. Airbus Helicopters will use 3D printing to produce components for the electric-powered CityAirbus, the experimental high-speed Racer helicopter, and the Airbus A350 and A320 passenger aircraft, among others.

TRUMPF provides 3D printing technology to Airbus Helicopters to produce components for the CityAirbus and other aircrafts.
TRUMPF’s 3D printing systems. Credit: TRUMPF.

“With its manufacturing know-how, TRUMPF is a reliable partner to the aviation industry worldwide. Our 3D printing systems are a key technology on the path to sustainable flying and they reduce dependency on long supply chains,” said Richard Bannmüller, CEO of TRUMPF Laser and System Technology. Additive manufacturing allows entire assemblies to be printed as one component – saving weight and, at the same time, producing components that are very stable and meet the strict safety requirements of the aviation industry.

Airbus Helicopters uses 3D printers from TRUMPF to manufacture structural components made of titanium and high-strength aluminum. “Additive manufacturing saves expensive raw material and can lower production costs in the aviation industry. 3D printers only use the material that designers actually need for their components and that ends up taking off in the aircraft,” said Bannmüller. 3D printing users can also reuse unused metal powder, whereas conventional manufacturing processes, on the other hand, often require many more times the raw material than the final product.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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