Home Industry German RepRap 3D Printer Produces Prototypes for Airbus Helicopters

German RepRap 3D Printer Produces Prototypes for Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters has installed a German RepRap X400 3D printer to produce prototype parts for its fleet of helicopters, including windshield wipers, following the development of a new system.

Manager of engineering at Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH, Frank Singer explains: “These windshield wipers require a multitude of tests with regard to their functionality and serviceability, as well as their ease of installation and the future manufacturing process.”

Following computer simulation, the functionality of the 3D printed prototypes was tested. Gears, levers and shafts had been 3D printed on German RepRap’s X400, while threads, bearing and sleeves were incorporated into the 3D model later on.

According to Singer, 3D printing significantly reduces manufacturing costs compared to other methods such as CNC milling. Moreover, the client is provided with not only a CAD model, but a fully functional model in the early stages of the development process.

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