Airbus partners with ARMOR in its additive manufacturing process

The International Paris Air Show opened its doors today: ARMOR is present in the Pays-de-la-Loire regional pavilion (Hall 4 – Booth F45), exhibiting its Kimya materials and a miniFactory machine. We are presenting our new filament, the PEI-9085, especially suited to the aeronautics sector. The event also presents the opportunity to meet up with a wide variety of operators in the sector and to see how they are incorporating additive manufacturing within their business. This applies to one of the giants of the sector, Airbus, which has been using 3D technologies for many years now to create different prototypes and parts, seeking innovative and high-performance applications. The group has already presented a prototype air nozzle using 3D printing in 2017 for the climate control system of the Airbus 330neo passenger cabin.


Its requirements have evolved in the meantime: Airbus called on ARMOR in order to better qualify their 3D printing materials with a view to standardizing the additive manufacturing process. Marc Carré, responsible for innovation at ProtoSpace in Saint-Nazaire, explained to us how the Kimya filaments have enabled the group to go even further in terms of rapid prototyping and rationalization of the different stages of 3D printing.


Hello Marc, can you tell us about your role within 3D printing at Airbus?

I have been working for Airbus for 20 years. My career has varied between toolmaking, managing digital models for the A320 and A330… and I’m now at the Airbus ProtoSpace in Saint Nazaire. I have been working with additive manufacturing for 4 years and make all kinds of prototypes using the technology.


ProtoSpace has been operating within Airbus since 2014: it consists of areas open to all employees with the goal of developing their creativity and innovative spirit. There are a design area and a prototyping laboratory where they can access various technologies such as virtual reality, 3D scanners and 3D printers.


Marc Carré (photo credits: Airbus)

What were the demands of Airbus in terms of additive manufacturing?

We needed to standardize the additive manufacturing process within the company, focusing on materials qualification.


You then began working with ARMOR : which Kimya 3D printing materials have you tested?

We have qualified the PLA-HI and PETG-S. We are currently testing more technical materials, such as the PETG Carbon before moving on to the PEI and PEEK. We have requested a specific preparation to make it easier to use them in our machines.


Which 3D printers are you currently using? What applications have you created?

We are working with fused deposition modeling printers from various manufacturers, including Raise3D, Volumic and Lynxter. We produce prototypes internally for all our departments.


On the left, an air pipe prototype 3D printed using the Kimya PETG-S – on the right, a fuselage model 3D printed using the Kimya PLA-HI (photo credits: ProtoSpace Airbus)

What performance levels are you expecting from 3D printing?

We expect to be able to make prototypes quickly and of high quality in terms of tolerances, aesthetics and resistance.


Finally, has your partnership with ARMOR enabled you to enhance performance levels?

Thanks to ARMOR and its Kimya range and services, we have found a partner we can share our issues with and jointly find solutions. It is very important for us to be able to rely on a competent and responsive supplier.


Air pipe prototype printed using the Kimya PLA HI (photo credits: ProtoSpace Airbus)


Find our Kimya filaments in Hall 4 – stand F45 at Paris Air Show and discover our brand new and high-performance PEI-9085 materials! Don’t hesitate to contact our sales department if you have any questions.


*Cover photo: cabin air diffuser 3D printed by Airbus