Back in 2015, global defense and aerospace createer Airbus proved itself to be a primary supporter of 3D printing advancement, teaming up with companies like Stratasys to assist them create over 1,000 3D printed parts for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, and with Rolls-Royce to 3D print an huge part for the engines. After their Head of Emerging Technologies & Concepts Pete Sanders promised actually additional involvement in industrial 3D printing for 2016, new news proves which Airbus is truly putting their skin in the game. Announcing an investment in both themselves and the Phoenix-based co-creation community Local Motors, Airbus’ expansion into emerging technologies like 3D printing has created them a beacon of advancement inside the aerospace industry.
After newly revealing the begin of Airbus Ventures, a $150 million corporate venture capital fund, Airbus Group has revealed which Local Motors can be the initially company to obtain a portion of the investment money. For those who are unfamiliar with the awe-inspiring 3D print-driven work being undertaken by Local Motors, they are already in the system of creating road-ready 3D printed car versions which can actually capable-bodied of cruising on the freeway. The investment can not only assist Local Motors expand upon their own projects, but Airbus believes which this funding can in addition assist with the defense giant’s own product createment as well. But it is unknown precisely how much of the $150 million Local Motors is receiving of the Airbus Group, the news itself shows which Airbus is serious of additional implementing and improving industrial 3D printing for optimal use inside their aircraft.
“As part of our investment thesis, we ponder of advancements taking place in product createment, and one of those is 3D printing. As we’ve looked into which, Local Motors only kept popping up,”Airbus Ventures CEO Tim Dombrowski said in a new interview with TechCrunch. “3D printing is not the core of what they do, but it’s a big part of their making system and lets them create products rapidly.”
Airbus is not only looking for new assist of the outside, their subsidiary Airbus Helicopters has been via 3D printing to prototype new windshield wiper creations. Using the German RepRap X400 3D printing device, the engineering team has been able-bodied conduct numerous tests on the functionality and serviceability of the windshield wiper prototype at a much lower cost than conventional making methods may allow. This in addition allowed the team to constantly revise the 3D version in order to rapidly implement necessary components into the create such as gears, levers, and shafts.
These two announcements prove which Airbus is unquestionably placing a heavy wager on 3D printing advancement and the most ways it can be applied. But they have managed 3D printing good results in the past, what’s quite amazing to me is the next of seeing the advancement behind Local Motors’ fully functional 3D printed car take off of the road up into the limitless sky via next Airbus aircraft versions.