Nov 26, 2015 | By Kira

The use of 3D printing and additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector is rapidly growing, becoming one of the most advanced and sought-after applications of 3D printing technology. The benefits of weight reduction, production cost savings and reduced manufacturing time, as well as the ability to create complex shapes with durable mechanically-sound materials, have attracted the attention of NASA, the US Air Force, Boeing, and Airbus. Today, Groupe Gorgé subsidiary and industrial 3D printing specialist Prodways has made the 3D printing aerospace sector a priority, with the launch of its dedicated Prodways Group Aerospace Division.

In partnership the Aerospace division of ECA Group, another subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé with renowned expertise in robotics, automated systems and aeronautic tooling solutions; and Initial, a Prodways Group subsidiary with 20 years’ experience in the production of plastic and metal parts using additive manufacturing technology, the Aerospace Division will offer a full range of additive manufacturing products dedicated to the aerospace sector, including:

  • Design of tooling and embedded parts
  • Manufacture of finished parts in plastic and metal
  • Development of machines and materials for all 3D printing technologies

The integrated industrial team will furthermore focus on the production, inspection, and maintenance of tools developed with 3D printing technologies, with the notable driving ambition of deploying dedicated production lines for both plastic and metal  aerospace parts.

According to ECA, the use of additive manufacturing technology in the aerospace sector strives for a smaller number of parts through the creation of shapes that were impossible to create through conventional machining processes. In current applications, the number of parts is reduced by a factor of six, leading to considerable improvements in terms of tool ergonomics and speed of implementation—not to mention cost, material, and weight savings. The use of new polymer materials also reduces the risk of damaging aircraft components.

Initial will provide a fleet of thirty additive manufacturing machines, including a dozen metal machines and various polymer manufacturing systems, to drive the production of these aerospace parts, tools, and technologies. The new Aerospace Division will be based at the ECA Group’s premises within the European aeronautics hub in Toulouse, France. It will include a showroom dedicated to the aerospace sector, to be inaugurated later today.

According to ECA, the global 3D printing market in the Aerospace sector was valued at $0.8 billion in 2014, yet with a compound annual growth rate of 20% over 5 years, it is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2020.

The inauguration of this dedicated Aerospace Division comes just shortly after the launch of the Prodways’ new range of industrial SLS 3D Printers, known as the ProMaker P series, developed in partnership with Hunan Farsoon.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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