Aerospace & Defence

Low volume production of highly engineered and optimised parts enabled by Additive Manufacturing, with benefits such as improved performance and manufacturing cost reduction, are attractive for both Aerospace and Defence industries.

Low volume production of highly engineered and optimised parts enabled by additive manufacturing, with benefits such as improved efficiency, performance as well as manufacturing cost reduction, are attractive for both Aerospace and Defence industries.

Aerospace, where weight and high-performance material efficiency are critical design parameters, additive manufacturing is an ideal solution. For that reason, it is the largest industry using additive manufacturing to build and repair various components for commercial, military and space aircraft.

One kilogram removed from every aircraft of a fleet of 600 commercial jets saves every year about 90.000 litres of fuel and avoids the emission of 230 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. Weight is a crucial driver for airlines because lighter aircraft leads to lower fuel consumption (and CO2 emissions) as well as the competitive advantage of reduced costs and better airfares.

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Some metals are keystones in Aerospace applications, such as the light titanium alloys (mainly Ti6Al4V) or heat-resistant super-alloys (such as Inconel 625/718). These materials are expensive, difficult to shape without compromising their excellent properties and challenging to machine. Depending on the geometry, traditional production techniques are possibly time-consuming, involving high wear of cutting tools as well as high material waste.

Space aircraft require intricately designed parts to minimise space and weight. Produced in minimal volumes, they are expensive and time-consuming when traditionally manufactured.