Additive Manufacturung in Aircraft Interiors

 

Technologies & Materials for Aircraft Interiors

The following summarizes common additive technologies and materials utilized for 3D printed aircraft parts:

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
ULTEM™ 9085
ULTEM™ 1010

Benefits of 3D Printed Interior Components

Leading aerospace manufacturers are migrating to AM to push the envelope of what’s possible in the world of flight. Aircraft design is evolving rapidly with a new sophistication taking over the scene. As global competition increases, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve. Additive manufacturing has proved to be a key element of maintaining a competitive edge in aircraft manufacturing.

One of the primary benefits of 3D printed parts is a reduction in weight – passing along continued operational savings during the life of the aircraft. . Components can be built in lightweight materials, with thinner walls than injection molding. Additive manufacturing easily produces complex geometries, allowing for part consolidation and design iterations that significantly reduce weight.

Free from the constraints of conventional manufacturing and tooling, engineers can design and further optimize the performance of aircraft components. Furthermore, 3D printing enables cost-effective production of cosmetic and non-cosmetic interior components for custom aircraft.

Applications

There is a wide range of aircraft interior applications that are utilized today, with more in development. The following details areas on an aircraft that designers and manufacturers might consider for 3D printing.

Within the functional interior of an aircraft there are significant applications to speak to including:

Ducting
Vents
Plenums
Aft equipment bay ventilation
Baffles
Cable management
Electrical housings

Additional applications possibilities comprise cosmetic parts in cabin, cockpit, galley and bay sections. These applications include:

Bins dividers
Light covers
Escutcheons
Bezels
Trim
Curtain clips and headers
Signs
Door latch components
Seat end and arm rest caps

Aircraft designers can also take advantage of 3D printing for the development of scale models and full scale mockups.