Russian Helicopters plans to start the additive production in 2020. The helicopter manufacturer is currently testing thirty parts manufactured with 3D printing.
Director of innovation at Russian Helicopters, Andrey Shibitov said: “This year we are finishing the re-engineering of around 30 different parts and details that will be manufactured using additive technologies. These parts are currently manufactured with various methods, like casting, punching or machining and we need to integrate their production to 3D printing. According to our plans, this process will start in 2020. We are talking about serious, power elements of the structures, units and systems of our helicopters. By the end of the year, we will decide whether we are ready to put these parts on serial production.”
Each part will be subject of a construction re-design and strength testing. Andrey Shibitov added: “As part of the tests, it is essential to confirm that the part made using additive technology is equal or superior in its characteristics to the analogous item it replaces.”
To this day, 80 different parts are going to be redesigned.
So far, Russian-made helicopters have not yet integrated parts manufactured with additive technologies. Russian Helicopters expects the number of 3D printed parts will increase significantly all around the world during the 2020-2022 period. The use of additive manufacturing can drastically reduce the aircraft’s mass and cost.