QMT Features: April 2017
Creating additive value
Stephen Chadwick, Managing Director, Dassault Systèmes EuroNorth, looks at recent advances and application of Additive Manufacturing in the aerospace industry


Additive Manufacturing (AM) goes beyond 3D printing. It has evolved into a production and manufacturing technology that displaces or complements conventional processes in an increasing number of applications in aerospace and defence (A&D) as well as other industries.

In many industries 3D simulation applications are deployed to accelerate structural analysis and virtual testing to bring better products to market faster. Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA for example delivers realistic simulation applications for the analysis of finite elements, multi physics models, fluid mechanics, mechanical and multiscale systems, noise and vibration. These enable users to explore real-world behavior of products, nature and life.

As an integral part of the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, SIMULIA applications accelerate the process of evaluating the performance, reliability and safety of materials and products before committing to physical prototypes. The multiphysics modeling & simulation portfolio provides access to Abaqus within the Platform environment allowing not only solving, but also knowledge capture, tool integration, design space exploration, best-practice development, methods re-use, and collaboration. This maximizes the value of users’ investment in simulation by allowing simulation results and IP to become corporate assets that powers innovation.

AM is used extensively by aerospace OEMs including Airbus Group which after a two-year comprehensive benchmarking process, is extending its use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to its AM programs integrating design, simulation and production.

Airbus Group will deploy collaborative design and simulation applications as part of the “Co-Design to Target” industry solution experience, for the additive manufacturing of tooling, prototyping and parts for test flights and for production use on commercial aircraft. This provides Airbus Group with digital continuity to optimize its conceptual designs by virtually validating each phase of the AM process. Using this approach Airbus Group can explore design and manufacturing possibilities to meet engineering and manufacturing requirements for the additive manufacturing of tools and parts. 

Robert Nardini, Senior Vice President Engineering Airframe, Airbus recently said. “Numerous projects across Airbus are accelerating the use of additive manufacturing to produce prototypes as well as production components potentially delivering lighter and less expensive parts that meet technological, performance, safety and cost standards.” He added, “Airbus has long used 3D simulation applications to accelerate the structural analysis and virtual testing of aircraft and now we can define a new way of designing parts by leveraging simulation-based design to better answer aviation market needs.”

AM creates new opportunities in many different areas such as remote fabrication for support and maintenance, rapid prototyping for realizing new concepts and experiences and, perhaps most importantly, developing designs that were previously impossible to fabricate. Airbus Group will be able to take advantage of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s automated design assistant for parts, whether they are 3D printed or not, thus accelerating a new wave of transformation in the aerospace industry. Using this platform Airbus will have an end-to-end solution, including all engineering parameters, for the additive manufacture of parts inclusive of material science, functional specification, generative design, 3D printing optimization, production and certification.
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