Airbus completed for the first time the installation of a titanium 3D-printed bracket on an in-series production A350 XWB. The bracket, built using additive-layer manufacturing (ALM) technologies (also known as 3D-printing), is part of the aircraft pylon, the junction section between wings and engines.
This is the first step towards qualification of more complex 3D-printed parts to be installed on production aircraft.
Additive-layer manufacturing “grows” products from a fine base material powder – such as aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, and plastics – by adding thin layers of material in incremental stages, which enables complex components to be produced directly from computer-aided design (CAD) information.
3D-printed parts are already flying on some of Airbus A320neo and A350 XWB test aircraft. These include metal printed cabin brackets and bleed pipes.