Transforming tool production using 3D printing enables Indaero to deal with Airbus suppliers
Following the use of Stratasys FDM 3D printing for the production of complex tools, Indaero, Spanish aerospace and engineering company has secured business with major Airbus suppliers.
Indaero delivers aircraft panels for key customers such as Airbus and its suppliers, offering a comprehensive range of services including design, engineering, tooling, welding and painting. By investing in the purchase of a Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer, Indaero succeeds in extending its service offerings into lightweight, complex tools that cannot be produced with traditional manufacturing.
Darío González Fernández, CEO of Indaero explains the particularity of Aerospace compared to other industries. “To traditionally manufacture production tools, injection molding or CNC machining would be used, but this would be very time-consuming and costly.
Furthermore, today, the company can produce tools that perfectly fit the panels by 3D printing curved production tools in robust materials.
“Not only does it make the work of our operators much easier, it frees up resources and increases our overall productivity. This improvement was immediately recognized by a number of leading Airbus providers such as Aernnova, who previously worked with our competitors and whose business we have subsequently secured”, adds Darío.
This is being exemplified through the company‘s work for Aernnova where the Fortus 450mc 3D Printer is being used to optimize a series of production tools for the manufacture of an Airbus NH90 Helicopter.
In particular, a 3D printed manufacturing tool to fix a slide box onto the interior panel of the helicopter wing. Traditionally, an aluminum tool weighed twelve kilos and required two operators to hold it against the panel while marking the drill holes.
With the complex geometries achievable with 3D printing, the team redesigned the tool with a curvature perfectly fitting the panel structure.
As a result, Indaero provided Aernnova with a new, more effective tool, nine kilos lighter than its predecessor and capable of standing on its own.