Production level AM seems a far cry for many in the manufacturing industry. However, we have many examples of how businesses are starting to put the technology to work on the factory floor. Leading the march is the aviation industry, with companies like Airbus 3D printing thousands of aircraft components today, shaving off weight and increasing reliability. Right up second is automotive, with companies like Bugatti and GM redesigning car parts through AM, and putting them in cars roaming the streets today. Also, the footwear industry has been keen to adopt AM as both a marketing strategy and a serious production boon. Improved customization and agility got the attention of companies like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, creating both limited editions and mass-produced soles and shoe components.
Premium AEROTEC 3D Printing Serially Produced Parts For All Airbus A350 XWB Aircraft
A few years ago Airbus said that it would have over a 1000 3D printed components on each aircraft. Subsidiary Airbus Helicopters has for a few months now been serially producing metal door latch shafts for the A350. Now Premium Aerotec, itself also an Airbus subsidiary, will start serially producing metal 3D printed components for the A350 as well. These have now entered into serial production and have been delivered to Airbus.
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Bugatti champions 3D-printed parts
The Divo supercar, with its $5.8 million starting price, was one of the stars of last summer’s Monterey Car Week. It achieved a 77-pound weight reduction from the Bugatti Chiron on which it is based, with some coming from more precisely made 3D printed taillights. Last year, it revealed that it has worked with tech suppliers Bionic Production and Fraunhofer IAPT to develop an eight-piston, titanium monobloc brake caliper via 3D printing. Bugatti says that part is being prepared for series production.
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Five footwear industry leaders using 3D printing for production today
Leading footwear AM companies – Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance, and Reebok – are targeting different footwear final parts and products, relying on different technologies and materials. However, there are some common trends which are based on the overall macro trend of advanced manufacturing: mass customization and digital mass production.
Read the full analysis at 3D Printing Media Network.
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