3D printing is an amazing concept. It takes materials and prints layers upon layers to create an object. Here’s the tricky part: would you fly in a plane that has been printed?
No ad to show here.
Airbus thinks you would. One of its designers, Bastian Schafer, is currently working on a concept plane that could be built mostly by print. The printer would need to be hangar-sized: around 80×80 meters would do it.
There are enormous benefits to the 3D printing manufacture method. There would be cost savings, but more of interest is the weight-saving. It would potentially be 65% lighter than with traditional manufacture methods. That’s a lot.
The concept plane wil show a few other revolutionary designs too. Fully recyclable cabins and body heat harvesting seats top the list. The heat harvesting seats also top the list of creepiest technologies of the future. Best of all though is the transparent walls that give you the view you’ve always wanted from plane trip: the pilot’s.
Don’t expect it any time soon though. These technologies are set for 2050, so hopefully in your lifetime, depending how much you’ve used up already.