Aviation going green: 3D printing
3D printer manufacturers have been closely observing the needs of the aircraft industry for some time now. As air traffic is slowly recovering, and the total volume is expected to roughly double over the next fifteen years. Even today, the industry is already under heavy load, as building and maintaining freight and passenger aircraft is a growing challenge. Coming up with customized solutions to cater the growing needs of aviation industry, 3D print enables faster and cheaper manufacture of components, spare parts with no material losses and practically of any shapes.
The biggest challenge for the use of flying 3D-printed parts in aviation is certification. Every part destined to fly has to be monitored continuously from raw material to end product, and there cannot be any defects. Never the less, cost-efficient 3D printing for aviation industry could reduce fuel consumption, material costs and lower CO2 emissions. Also, enable faster production of complex and discontinued parts and could see MROs able to make their own design improvements. Manufacturing could be performed precisely when needed. Another advantage: demand-driven additive manufacturing does not generate any of the excess.
According to the forecasts in the recently published results of studies carried out by Research and Markets, the 3D print market in aerospace will grow by 23.01% until 2021. The industry has already been using additive technology successfully, while aerospace giants declare that there will be more areas for 3D print breakthrough implementation in their sector.