Aerospace sector increases demand for 3D printing

The 3D printing industry is set to become significantly more prominent in the manufacturing processing of the aerospace sector in the future, with the likes of BAE and Airbus already gearing up to take advantage, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

3D printing technology will likely open the supply chain process to new suppliers, beyond traditional defense suppliers. The use of alternate techniques will help companies drive down production costs by creating on-demand production, reducing delivery times and create more flexibility in the supply chain. For civil aerospace markets facing uncertain levels of future demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has particular significance.

William Davies, Associate Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “3D printing will have a significant impact in aerospace, as primes such as BAE and Airbus will be able to do an increasing amount of work in-house and this will reduce reliance on the downstream supply chain. BAE has recently stated its goal of increasing the utilization of advanced techniques for the Tempest aircraft.”

The primary goal of this leap in adoption is to reduce both the cost and the time required to develop new aircraft, with BAE suggesting that these manufacturing techniques could potentially produce savings of around 50% for the Tempest aircraft. The move to incorporate the use of different processes is an attempt to make the future aircraft price competitive, to ensure the company’s export potential.

Davies adds: “COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in the supply chain and the adoption of 3D printing has the potential to improve supply chain reactivity in the face of uncertain demand.”

More Media