3D printing is usually utilized by corporations to fabricate elements and parts for helicopters, and Airbus Helicopters – a part of the bigger Airbus Group – isn’t any exception. Only one yr in the past, Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth, Bavaria started serial manufacturing of metallic 3D printed door latch shafts for its A350 passenger plane, which helps save on prices, time, and weight.
However we’re not speaking in regards to the 3D printed elements now – as an alternative, I’m going to let you know in regards to the environment friendly technique the aerospace firm is utilizing to quickly separate these elements from the bottom plate.
Final yr, not lengthy after serial manufacturing of the titanium shafts started, Airbus Helicopters bought an automated KASTOwin amc bandsaw from KASTO, one other German firm, with the intention to separate the elements from their base plate in an financial trend with out damaging them. The corporate carried out trials at KASTO’s Achern location forward of time, and was impressed by how correct, cost-effective, simple, and quick bandsawing was than different machining strategies, like wire-cut EDM and milling.
The sawing machine producer isn’t new to 3D printing – it’s really a supporter of the NextGenAM collaborative undertaking, and its automated bandsaw was particularly designed to separate 3D printed parts from the construct platform by inverting them and sawing horizontally in order that they fall right into a container beneath.
The Airbus Helicopters manufacturing unit in Donauwörth makes use of powder mattress 3D printing to manufacture the titanium shafts used to lock plane doorways; the corporate additionally focuses on making the doorways themselves for passenger and cargo plane. Every Airbus A350 plane has 16 of the parts put in, and 3D printing is a perfect technique of producing as a result of skinny partitions and complicated geometry of the shafts.
Compared with standard strategies of producing, these 3D printed titanium A350 shafts are 25% cheaper, and obtain weight financial savings of over 45%. However earlier than they can be utilized, the parts need to be separated from their 400 x 400 mm titanium base plate – exactly the duty that the KASTOwin amc bandsaw was created to finish.
The bottom plate with connected 3D printed shafts can weight as much as 40 kg, so it must be transported on a fork raise from the printer to the noticed, then bolted to a clamping mechanism. The machine is absolutely enclosed, which prevents contamination of ambient air, along with making ready it for being linked to an extraction system.
As soon as the noticed’s door is closed, the mechanism rotates by 180%, in order that the sawing will be carried out the wrong way up. Whereas this may occasionally sound like an odd setup for removing, it’s really fairly advantageous – as soon as the elements are lower, they will’t buckle or fall over, which helps forestall expensive injury that might take valuable time to repair.
After every construct, the plate is floor flat so it may be used once more, however it turns into thinner every cycle. So workers must measure the bottom plate’s thickness whereas it’s clamped earlier than sawing begins, after which enter the determine into the AdvancedControl CNC’s job wizard. A high-precision ballscrew drive actuates the noticed’s blade, and it’s then moved to the precise programmed top. As soon as they’re lower, the 3D printed titanium shafts then drop right into a container, which is padded to additional forestall injury, and an worker removes them by a flap.
Airbus Helicopters plans to 3D print different metallic parts at its Donauwörth manufacturing unit, which implies that the KASTOwin amc bandsaw will possible be seeing much more use.
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