Materialise to 3D-print flight-ready plastic parts for Airbus’ flagship A350 XWB aircraft


Materialise, the leading provider of additive manufacturing software and sophisticated 3D printing solutions in the medical and industrial markets, has announced that their certified Factory for 3D Printing is now manufacturing plastic parts for Airbus’s A350 XWB.

Image credit:
Image credit:

The announcement comes after the company successfully obtained EN9100 and EASA 21G certification in April of this year, authorising it to deliver airworthy additive manufactured end-use parts.

For its newest A350 XWB, Airbus introduced a high level of intelligence through the integration of simple, robust and efficient state-of-the-art systems, which ensure reliability and lower maintenance requirements.

Given the benefits that additive manufacturing offers in terms of topology optimisation and functional integration, it is no wonder that Airbus decided to 3D-print certain end-use parts of the A350 XWB, a process which started earlier this year when the company acquired Stratasys’ FDM 3D Production Systems and manufactured more than 1,000 3D printed flight parts.

“Airbus understands and appreciates the benefits that 3D printing – or more appropriately in this case, Additive Manufacturing (AM) – can bring to the most modern widebody aircraft: the A350 XWB. In addition, with one of the most thorough test programmes developed for a jetliner, the use of AM end-use parts sends a strong signal about the reliability and quality that AM can deliver today,” said Materialise Executive Vice President of Production, Bart Van der Schueren.

“For 25 years, Materialise has been working to improve AM through an ever more sophisticated software offering, and a Factory for 3D Printing that manufactures parts that meet the needs of even the most demanding of industries, including the health care, automotive and aerospace sectors. As such, we are very proud to now be delivering end-use, flight-ready parts to Airbus.”