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Alcoa Signs Contract With Airbus, Will Begin Supplying 3D Printed Airplane Components by Mid-2016

by • April 6, 2016 • No Comments

alcoaLightweight metals developer Alcoa is relatively new to 3D printing, but once they decided to pursue the innovation, they pursued it aggressively. The multinational corporation revealed their intention to adopt 3D printing at the end of 2014, and less than a year later they had invested only about $100 million in expansions to accelerate their development of the innovation. It appears to have paid off, for the reason in these days Alcoa revealed that they’ve signed an agreement to make 3D printed parts for one of aerospace’s most enthusiastic adopters of 3D printing: Airbus.

Airbus has seemingly created it a goal to 3D print all things that can be 3D printed. Their Airbus A350 XWB aircraft was created with over 1,000 3D printed parts, and they’ve partnered with leading 3D printing leaders such as Stratasys and Materialise to store those components coming. Currently Alcoa joins the ranks as a supplier of additively maked parts for the airliner, and yet not most details of the agreement have been released, Alcoa can be providing 3D printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon components to Airbus.

Airbus_logo_3D_Blue“We are proud to partner with Airbus to assist pave the way to the next of aerospace development and making,” said Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “The one-of-a-kind combination of our multi-material alloy development expertise, powder production capabilities, aerospace making durablity and product qualification know-how position us to lead in this amazing, emerging space.”

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Alcoa_Additive_Infographic_FINAL_highresThis partnership is only the latest development in what has been an amazingly active period of alter for Alcoa. In addition to their multimillion-dollar, 3D printing-related expansions at their Pittsburgh and Whitehall, Michigan facilities, the company in addition not long ago acquired RTI International Metals, now known as Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products (ATEP). With a facility in Austin, Texas, ATEP has additional increased Alcoa’s additive making capabilities, particularly in titanium and specialty metals – most likely a leading draw for Airbus.

Furtheradditional, in September of last year Alcoa revealed that they may be separating into two companies, with a new value-add company to be named Arconic expected to commence in the 2nd half of 2016. Aerospace can be a leading focus for Arconic, that Alcoa describes as a “premier innovator of high performance multi-material products and solutions in alluring growth markets” – undoubtedly with worthwhile assist of the corporation’s increasing additive making capabilities.

The contract between Alcoa and Airbus is not the initially for the two companies; the two have been working together for years. As Alcoa ramps up their 3D printing production, it’s safe to say that they’ll most likely be working together for most additional. Discuss this new partnership in the Alcoa & Airbus 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.