Thursday, December 5, 2013

Airbus teams with MIT

Complex structures assembled with components.
Airbus photo by  C. Sadonnet
Airbus signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore using digital manufacturing in aerospace. Airbus will evaluate how the technique being developed at MIT can be applied to the design and construction of aerospace vehicles. Digital material technology is based on the idea that a complex structure can be built by assembling a simple set of components, similar to how the body builds all of its proteins from amino acids. When the parts developed by MIT are assembled, much like snap-together building blocks, the resulting structure is lightweight, durable and easy to disassemble and reassemble. The technique could lead to lighter aircraft and lower construction and assembly cost. Airbus is also exploring the use of 3D digital printing of some parts or potentially larger airframe structures. (Source: Airbus, 12/05/13) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; A 3D printed component has been tested on an engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss: 3-D printed part on rocket engine; 3-D printing grabbing headlines