Netherlands-based Additive Industries has delivered its very first MetalFAB1 to none other than Airbus. The results are huge in more ways than one.
If you’re not familiar with Additive Industries’ MetalFAB1, it’s a rather large metal 3D printing unit that includes not only the printing process, but several other processes required to provide a complete workflow, including post processing, cleaning, milling, measurement, heat treatments and more.
Such features are integrated in the MetalFAB1, which should simplify operational workflow for the manufacturer, who would otherwise have to coordinate a number of different workstations and equipment, making the overall process less efficient. That should change with the MetalFAB1, and consequently increase the throughput of research and production using 3D printing at Airbus, in this case.
Additive Industries has produced a short video showing the delivery and assembly of the massive MetalFAB1, which is so large it must be broken up into numerous separate components for shipping. This then demands a complex assembly of the components at the Airbus site, which are shown in the video.
Here you can see some of the uncrated components ready for attachment and testing.The result is an impressive, integrated machine ready for action at Airbus as seen here.
But there’s more to the story. In fact, the delivery is to APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus that focuses on metal 3D printing processes, from design to production. APWorks is clearly the right kind of customer for a MetalFAB1.
APWorks exists not only to provide service to Airbus, but to help deploy such technology to other industries, such as robotics, mechanical engineering, automotive, medical technology and even other aerospace ventures.
Their work with the MetalFAB1 should slowly leak into these other industries where use of 3D printed metal processes may eventually become common and even required, where today it’s often only an experiment.
This is huge for Additive Industries, who might hope for additional MetalFAB1 sales to other companies through this arrangement.
A huge machine, a huge benefit to Airbus and a huge lead for Additive Industries.