3D printing has come a long way from printing minute objects to aerospace and defense parts. Airbus and Renishaw have collaborated to create 3D printed parts for aircraft wings.
Renishaw is a UK-based company that is offering its engineering and technical expertise in 3D printing to manufacture advanced and powerful devices. They recently made front suspensions for racing bikes and 3D printed parts for American cup yachts. Renishaw has specialized in making customized parts for big companies.
Airbus is the global giant that manufactures aircraft and has headquarters in France. It has joined hands with Renishaw and they now engaged in a project ‘Windy’ a project of Wing Design Methodology Validation that has been supported by the joint industry and UK government investment from the Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Department for Business, and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).
The wings of an aircraft are pivotal in balancing the plane and designing the wings is a tedious and complicated task. The Airbus CEO Tom Williams said that if the project was successful, it would increase the strength of the wings and reduce testing time.
The Airbus team will come from Filton, Bristol facility, known for expertise in the area of wing design from research, manufacturing to testing the end-product. Renishaw will be working with Airbus in the area of 3D printing and additive manufacturing, as it has expertise in metal AM technologies.
3D printing for designing and manufacturing wing structure would lead to the manufacture of lighter components of the aircraft. The teams are engaged in the experimentations of aerodynamic modeling for aircraft wing structures. They will analyze the advantages of 3D printing in areas like better load control which leads to better efficiency.
Simon Weeks, the Chief Technology Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute said that ATI’s UK national aerospace strategy aims at expanding UK’s control in aircraft wings sector.