Airbus Group site in Munich to establish new additive manufacturing center

The Airbus Group is working to establish a new additive manufacturing center at its Munich, Germany-adjacent site.

The Airbus Group (Leiden, Netherlands) is expanding its research capacities at the Group's site in Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen, Germany (right outside of Munich), which includes establishing a new additive manufacturing center dubbed the Aerospace Factory.

Related: Airbus will use laser additive-manufactured components

The newly opened materials research laboratory belongs to Airbus Group Innovations, the Group's central global research network. Lab researchers will focus on developing materials for aircraft construction that are lightweight, robust, and environmentally friendly. At around 4500m2, the lab will house a team of 65 experts who will explore a diverse range of technologies, ranging from 3D printing and surface technology to innovative welding methods.

The Aerospace Factory, envisioned as a center for additive manufacturing, will research innovative production methods for the aerospace industry and develop them to maturity. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, can be used to manufacture components with highly complex geometries that are built up layer by layer from metallic powder heated with a laser. Time-consuming processing steps can be omitted from the traditional manufacturing process, and component shapes and designs can be calculated so that the printed parts are both light and extremely stable.

The Aerospace Factory will be based on the Ludwig Bölkow Campus, an interdisciplinary venture between industry and universities at the Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen site. The signatories of the declaration of intent are made up of aerospace company Airbus Safran Launchers; engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines; additive manufacturing solutions developer EOS GmbH; Airbus Group Innovations; the Technical University of Munich with its Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb); the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology (EZRT), a division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS); Airbus subsidiary APWorks; Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG); the Airbus Endowed Chair for Integrative Simulation and Engineering of Materials and Processes (ISEMP) of the University of Bremen; and the ESI Group, a pioneer in virtual prototyping solutions.

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