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3D Printing Technology Reduces Weight Of Aerospace Parts

Aircraft weight directly impacts fuel usage because more weight equals greater fuel consumption. For orbital satellites, payload weight matters when rocketing equipment off the planet. Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, will likely prove to be vital for the future of aerospace manufacturing. Major organizations, like Airbus and NASA, have already leaned on 3D printing technology to decrease weight and enable greater versatility and speed on production lines. The A350 XWB built by Airbus includes over 1,000 3D-printed parts. With this process, aerospace manufacturers can achieve 50 to 80 percent weight reductions in some parts. Even modest weight reductions, like the 15 percent lower weight of a 3D-printed spacer panel on the A320, provide significant fuel savings over the course of an aircraft’s lifetime.