In June 2020, the French government launched a support plan for the aeronautics industry to help manufacturers in the sector overcome the consequences of the health crisis and encourage them to accelerate the reduction of the carbon footprint of their activities. (Plan de soutien à la filière aéronautique) 1.5 billion euros will be made available over the next three years to support research and development projects in this field.
3D printing and aeronautics: towards “cleaner” aircraft
Three main levers have been identified to move towards “cleaner” aircraft:
- reduction of fuel consumption
- the electrification of appliances
- the transition to carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen
In these three areas, 3D printing can provide answers to manufacturers who wish to overcome the performance limits of equipment made by conventional techniques.
The aerospace industry was interested in additive manufacturing (3D printing) from an early stage and has been using it for decades. It was first used to manufacture prototypes to shorten the development time of new aircraft. Then, in the race to make aircraft lighter, aircraft manufacturers began to print functional parts. Today, critical parts (e.g. engine parts) and even structural parts made by various 3D printing processes can be found on board aircraft.
According to a report by Market Research Future, the number of companies and suppliers certified for additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry is expected to grow by more than 20% per year until 2023. The AddUp group is one of these suppliers capable of meeting the requirements of the aerospace industry: our production workshop based in Salon-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) is certified NF EN 2100: 2018.