The Potential of Additive Manufacturing for the Aircraft Cabin
Despite the variety of additive manufacturing technologies available today, the number of series production parts for aircraft interior applications is relatively low. Due to strict and stringent aerospace requirements, only a few certified processes and materials are available.
Nevertheless, current developments show an increasing number of certified parts made with additive manufacturing. The 3D printing process delivers impressive results from multiple aspects: a high level of flexibility in design, integration of new functions, drastically reduced development and lead times, as well as the option of combining multiple components in one module to lower costs.
As a certified design organization, Diehl Aviation optimizes those benefits for cabin interior parts. This year, Diehl Aviation produced and delivered the largest, fully 3D printed flight part for passenger aircraft to date, which is installed on an A350 XWB. The module, made using the Stratasys FDM 3D printing process, is a Curtain Comfort Header – a complex enclosure for the curtain rail that can measure up to 1140 x 720 x 240 mm. The curtains separate the classes from one another within the cabin. Qatar Airways will be the first airline to use the 3D printed Curtain Comfort Header on board its aircraft. In a joint project, Diehl Aviation and Airbus developed the curtain header in close co-operation. With only 12 months between the first improved concept until the delivery of the first certified ready-to-use model, the project always was in the fast lane.
In this presentation, Diehl Aviation will explore this project, and the potential, both now and in the future, for the advancement of additive manufacturing for the aircraft cabin.