The use of 3D Printing for creating parts is nothing new. The aviation industry, just like many others knows how useful this technology can be for reducing costs as well as the effort it takes to build an aircraft.
The fact that both Airbus and Boeing are using 3D printing to manufacture parts of A350 and B787 Dreamliner passenger airplanes, is a testament to their support of this technology.
Pushing that support to the limit is a new invention from Airbus, called Thor, the World’s First 3D Printed Aircraft.
This small sized aircraft was presented at the Berlin Air Show, and attracted a huge crowd thanks to it’s unique manufacturing process.
The aircraft is shorter than 4 meters in length and weighs approximately 21 kilos. It has no windows, and the only part of the plane not made through 3D printing were the electronics.
Airbus is heralding this invention as a proof of all the good things that can be done with 3D printing technology. They hope that this technology would lead to a more streamlined aircraft manufacturing process, which would in turn save lots of time, money and fuel.
The company is not content with just manufacturing plane parts with 3D printing though. For them, the next step would be building an engine assembly with the same technology.
If they are able to achieve this goal, it would certainly bring about a new era of lighter, more complex aircraft’s that can have a more positive ecological impact on the world.