3D printing in aeronautics: Question of trust

Would you be ready to take a flight in a plane entirely built from 3D parts? You will probably have to in the near future as 3D printing is quickly seducing the area of AeronauticsHow quickly is 3D printing developing?In a space of 10-15 years we could be going from just toilet covers built in 3D to wings built in 3D and from there there’s no going back. 3D printing would be a huge part of aviation and specifically in the building of components thanks to its effectiveness. This meaning its lower production

time and cost. The average cost of aluminum being $132/kg, 3D material is by far cheaper at $50/kg. This is what makes companies so attracted to the development of 3D printing in aeronautics, and this the reason why it is developing at a quick rate.


Where are we right now? Should some of us be worried or even excited?


Various companies have introduced 3D printing in their aircrafts though for now the parts created are in small amount and in non-vital for the safety of the plane positions. So, if you’re worried that you’re flying on a plane which in our view as a society is as fragile as mom’s china don’t be because we’re not quite there yet. The US air force was the first to introduce the toilet cover idea for the obvious reason of reducing the cost of plane construction, though how could this be applied to civil aviation. And when it is applied how could it sustain itself and become more and more reliable in order to gain people’s trust. The only evident answers seem to be time and money, but since time is money in this sort of business the whole idea is put into question.


Where could we be standing in 10-15 years?


When the idea of 3D printing starts being implemented in civil aviation the impact that it will have in our conception of aircrafts and our use of them will be massive. Now, some of us see planes as the most secure mean of transportation, but others see it as box full of dangers. With all the technology hidden behind the construction of an airplane it is no wonder that some people consider planes this way. Though, the fact is, planes are the safest mean of transportation. Most people that are afraid of taking the plane are heavily influenced by the amount of plane incidents they see in the news. Though, we’re able to see each case separately because there’s not that many. Imagine if every car crash was covered by the news. My point is that aircrafts are the safest means of transportation but what would happen if the building process were to change? It would be like starting all over again in order to build this trust that we have towards aircrafts nowadays. Reducing the cost of construction of an aircraft would reduce the price of a plane ticket. Would you be willing to take a flight in a plane built out of 3D parts? The whole idea of 3D printing in aeronautics is to reduce production cost and time but people should see that this would also influence the pricing of tickets.


How could 3D printing affect the world environmentally?


Most parts of an aircraft are made of aluminum, although it is a light material it has heavy consequences to the planet. Tropical deforestation and toxic waste are amongst others the most important issues here. Companies are very implicated in the 3D printing research because if they can have a component built cheaper, faster but also keep the environmentalists happy they would all go for it. 3D printing isnot quite implemented in Aeronautics yet, but it should be clear that sooner or later we will eventually get there. This now raises the question of security and brings back the idea of trust from the consumers to the aircraft and the companies themselves.How can the traveler be convinced about his safety and how can air companies earn the consumers trust from the start?


Bibliographie et articles relatifs au sujet qui peuvent vous intéresser :

Artley, B. (2019). Aerospace 3D printing Applications | 3D Hubs. [online] 3D Hubs. Available at: https://www.3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/aerospace-3d-printing-applications/, [Accessed 6 Dec. 2019].


Aerospace, E. (2019). Industrial 3d printing of aircraft parts. [online] Eos.info. Available at: https://www.eos.info/aerospace [Accessed 6 Dec 2019].


https://www.eos.info/aerospace3D, Natives. "TOP 10 3D Printing In Aeronautics


-3Dnatives." 3Dnatives. N.p., 2019. Web. 6 Dec. 2019 .https://www.3dnatives.com/en/3d-printing-aeronautics-010320184/

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