Using the German RepRap x500 3D printer speeds up development processes for functional structural components at Sika Automotive. A wide variety of customizable solutions also offer the company new possibilities in terms of materials and designs.
Airbus Helicopter’s Deutschland GmbH wanted to outfit their helicopters with observation cameras allowing for possible future applications for the police or army to aid in following movements on the ground. Historically, this process would require a part to be cut from aluminum and a “trial and error” period that would increase both cost and overall time required. However, using the x400 3D Printer from German RepRap, several prototypes were printed for testing which cut both cost and manufacturing time.
In September 2016 the Footwear Polytechnic of Riviera del Brenta, institute of excellence in the footwear industry, launched FFlab – a digital laboratory specializing on new 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies.
The decision to change from a laser-sinter process to the fused-filament fabrication (FFF) was not only driven by the cost savings. “The parts are a lot more rigid than the laser-sintered models”, says Thomas Pazulla, “The model contains hooks which often broke off in the past.”
Production using additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry brings many advantages. Airbus Helicopters use their German RepRap x400 3D printer in the development field to ensure deadlines, cost and quality goals. In a recent case, it's about validating the design of an integral new step.
The head of research and development, Benjamin Wolf recalls, “We have been using 3D Printing and rapid prototyping for a long time now, however, the stereo lithography equipment available at the beginning was of no use to us due to the limited selection of materials- we wanted to print with a material that would match the final product as closely as possible.”