Netherlands-based Additive Industries has found a willing tester for their massive metal 3D printing system, the MetalFAB1.
Who is it? It’s no surprise that it is Airbus APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus, of course: Airbus is reasonably close geographically to Additive Industries, and secondly Airbus has considerable experience with metal 3D printing.
Metal 3D printing is exploding in the aerospace market, as manufacturers have now realized the effectiveness of designing unique parts that leverage 3D printing’s ability to create previously impossible geometries. Aerospace parts in particular can be designed to be of considerably less weight, require fewer components in total and of increased reliability and strength.
Airbus has been working with metal 3D printing for some time, and must know much about not only the printing of metal, but the pre- and post-processing required to execute a 3D printing workflow.
This is the part we believe Additive Industries is most interested in: how can an experienced 3D metal printing operation make use of the MetalFAB1, which is touted to be not only a 3D printer, but also one that provides other elements of the 3D metal printing workflow, such as finishing.
It’s possible that Airbus may find significant advantages by using the MetalFAB1, but we won’t know until they tell us what happened during their upcoming testing. Results are certain to be very interesting.