Airbus A350 XWB used more than 1,000 3D printed parts

Using Stratasys 3D printers, Airbus used additive manufacturing techniques to hit its targets for its latest extra wide body aircraft.

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Stratasys said Airbus has produced more than 1,000 flight parts using its high-end additive manufacturing 3D printers for its A350 XWB plane.

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3D makers, which have struggled of late with extended enterprise purchasing processes, have become more integrated with the supply chain.

Related: Stratasys cuts Q1, 2015 outlook as 3D printer makers struggle | 3D Systems stumbles: A sign of 3D printing woes or HP?

Stratasys said Airbus used its FDM 3D Production Systems for the A350 XWB, which was delivered in December. The A350 XWB is Airbus' extra wide body plane that seats about 315 passengers and has a range of 7,750 nautical miles.

The printed parts were used instead of traditionally manufactured parts. Airbus began working with Stratasys in 2013 as the aircraft maker was looking to be more nimble and hit its timelines.

Given all the parts in the A350 XWB, the 3D printed ones represent a small portion of them. However, directionally you can plot where the supply chain will go over time.

According to Stratasys, the parts were manufactured using the ULTEM 9085 resin for FDM, which is an Airbus specification to meet various regulatory requirements.

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