13. - 17.09.2022 Internationale Ausstellung für Metallbearbeitung
14.08.2019 - 11:45

Headstand for the perfect shaft

To save time and costs during the production of aircraft components, Airbus Helicopters, which is headquartered in Donauwörth in Bavaria, has recently turned to additive manufacturing.

After manufacturing the titanium components in the 3D printer, the next step is to separate them from their baseplate. This is done using the fully automatic KASTOwin amc bandsaw. This KASTO machine has been specially designed for use in the world of generative manufacturing and excels thanks to its economical, user-friendly sawing process which has been designed to avoid damage to the workpiece.

Layer after layer: Manufacturing components in the 3D printer

As of recently, Airbus has been using an additive manufacturing process to produce shafts for locking these doors. The titanium component is created in a 3D printer, which applies layer after layer of the powdery input material to a baseplate measuring 400 x 400 millimetres. The fact that walls of the shaft are thin and that it has a complex geometry makes this manufacturing method particularly suitable. It cuts production costs as well as work and effort – and the most important thing of all: Sixteen of these components are installed in every A350. That adds up to a saving of slightly more than four kilograms per plane.

When the printing of the components is finished, they must be separated from the baseplate, which is also made of titanium. To perform this process, Airbus has invested in the KASTOwin amc fully automatic bandsaw. The KASTO machine has been in operation in Donauwörth since October 2018. What makes it so special? It has been specifically designed for the machining of additively manufactured parts.

For Airbus, the changeover to the 3D printing process and the acquisition of the KASTOwin amc have already paid for themselves: The shafts, which will subsequently be used to lock aircraft doors, are 45 percent lighter and 25 percent more economical to manufacture than conventional components. Airbus Helicopters currently manufactures approximately 2,200 of these titanium components at its factory in Donauwörth. The additive manufacturing of other components is also planned for the future – meaning that the KASTO saw will play an even more prominent role in the production process.


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