Additive manufacturing has been attracting growing industrial interest for several years due to the many advantages it can provide for a large number of sectors: reduction of manufacturing and marketing times, production of complex shapes not achievable by conventional technologies, reduction of waste, cost reduction in certain areas of use, optimization of the mass of parts, etc.
Nevertheless, despite numerous R&D projects carried out over the past several years, technological barriers remain and limit the long-term integration of these technologies in the industrial environment for the manufacture of mass-produced parts, particularly in the aeronautical field.
The rigor and control of the processes used, the adaptation of the definitions of the products to be manufactured to the production technology remain the keys to success for the development of additive manufacturing in the aeronautical sector,
Additive manufacturing in the aeronautical industry can and must be an asset to meet the production problems of small and medium quantities of complex parts in a context of growing constraints related to environmental impacts, the need to reduce production cycles and cost control in an increasingly competitive market.
For these reasons, DASSAULT AVIATION and nine partners (manufacturers, research centers, university laboratories) have embarked on an R&D manufacturing project to set up a test platform on its Argonay industrial site, which DASSAULT AVIATION has chosen as the “group” reference for its metal additive manufacturing needs. This collaborative project, called AEROPRINT, aims to work on the development and mastery of this production process within an operational chain ranging from powder to the completion of parts representative of class 2 and 3 aeronautical applications.
AEROPRINT is committed to demonstrating the stability, in terms of quality, reproducibility and competitiveness, of an additive production chain from design to the qualification capacity of the product produced, criteria that are essential in aeronautics to bring additive manufacturing to an industrial scale that meets the technical requirements of qualification and certification.
In order to address the current obstacles and uncertainties, AEROPRINT brings together the complementary nature of high-level industrial, technological and scientific skills in the region to meet the needs of the target markets, around eight work packages: powders, machine parameters, finishing, digital chain, robotization studies, HSE, qualification and validation.
Labeled by the CIMES competitiveness cluster, the AEROPRINT project has received financial support from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the European Union (ERDF), in order to structure a sustainable industrial sector to position the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region on the European scene of 3D metal printing.