AerospaceAM Press ReleasesMetal Additive Manufacturing

STELIA Aerospace 3D prints largest aircraft fuselage component

WAAM technology was used showing its potential for large format parts

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

In a world premiere for AM of large aircraft parts, French aerospace manufacturer STELIA Aerospace presented a demonstrator for metallic self-reinforced fuselage panels manufactured through a WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) 3D printing process, such as that recently introduced by French 3D printer manufacturer Prodways.

The project is the result of a partnership with Constellium, Centrale Nantes and CT Ingénierie, in the scope of the collaborative R & T project DEFACTO (DEveloppement de la Fabrication Additive pour Composant TOpologique), a demonstrator for metallic self-reinforced fuselage pannels, with stiffeners directly manufactured on the surface, through additive manufacturing.

“With this 3D additive manufacturing demonstrator, STELIA Aerospace aims to provide its customers with innovative designs on very large structural parts derived from new calculation methods (topological optimisation). Through its R&T department, and thanks to its partners, STELIA Aerospace is therefore preparing the future of aeronautics, with a view to develop technologies that are always more innovative and will directly impact our core business, aerostructures.” Cédric Gautier, CEO of STELIA Aerospace.

Click on the image to see the entire fuselage component 3D printed by STELIA

This new technology should, in the long term, eliminate the current added stiffeners, which are attached to the fuselage pannels with fixing screws and sometimes welding. This demonstrator, measuring 1 sq. meter, was manufactured by a robotic tool, through the deposit of aluminium wire merged by electric arc (WAAM – Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing). It presents a new disruptive design for pannel stiffeners, derived from the fuselage topological optimisation studies which have been carried out by STELIA Aerospace and CT Ingénierie since several years.

This new large dimension 3D print technology allows to envisage the manufacturing of such concepts in the future, thus freeing production from complex constraints due to the assembly of stiffeners. With support from Constellium and Ecole Centrale de Nantes, STELIA Aerospace is currently studying additive manufacturing, a disruptive technology aimed at a new approach of production, where material is added by deposit instead of being removed by machining.

The DEFACTO project, planned on a 2.5 yers basis, represents an important investment, co-financed (50/50) by the DGAC (French Directorate General for Civil Aviation) and the partners involved. It is part of a research strategy launched by STELIA Aerospace in 2014, about topological optimisation studies associated to 3D print demonstrators for elementary parts (such as fittings), large dimension parts (frames) and large sub-assemblies.

The benefits sought for are new designs, the integration of functions, less ecological impact through the use of less material, weight gains and less recurring manufacturing costs.

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

This market study from 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive ma...

3D Printing Media Network

3D Printing Media Network is the online trade media portal published by 3dpbm, a leading marketing and market research firm specializing in the AM industry. 3dpbm also publishes the 3D Printing Business Directory, the AM Focus eBook series and the 3dpbm Research AM Market Reports. 3D Printing Media Network was founded with the goal to provide the latest industry news, insights and opinions to a global audience of professionals and decision makers.

Related Articles

Back to top button

We use cookies to give you the best online experience and for ads personalisation. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services



Join industry leaders and receive the latest insights on what really matters in AM!

This information will never be shared with 3rd parties

I’ve read and accept the privacy policy.*