Liebherr and Airbus reach Additive Manufacturing milestone with EASA-approved flex shaft

June 7, 2024

Caption: Liebherr is celebrating another Additive Manufacturing milestone with the news that this titanium flex shaft is entering serial production for Airbus (Courtesy Liebherr-Aerospace)
Liebherr is celebrating another Additive Manufacturing milestone with the news that this titanium flex shaft is entering serial production for Airbus (Courtesy Liebherr-Aerospace)

Liebherr-Aerospace, Toulouse, France, has celebrated a new milestone with the approval of a metal additively manufactured flex shaft, a component with a high degree of complexity produced from titanium. The part will now enter serial production for Airbus, following approval by the aircraft producer and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Leveraging the design freedom that Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing offers, Liebherr was able to replace an assembly of seven parts, formerly conventionally manufactured, with just one single additively manufactured component. The reduced number of parts leads to improved reliability and a significant weight reduction.

THE WORLD OF METAL AM TO YOUR INBOX
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Sign up

The flex shaft is part of the Airbus A350 high lift system, where it will be integrated in the active differential gearbox of the flap system. The flex shaft transmits the rotary movement to a position sensor and thus compensates for an angle and axis misalignment between gearbox and sensor.

Liebherr-Aerospace already has a history of additively manufacturing aerospace applications. At the beginning of 2019, it commenced the serial production of additively manufactured parts with the introduction of an AM proximity sensor bracket for the A350 nose leading gear. This bracket was reportedly the first-ever introduced Airbus system part qualified for titanium Additive Manufacturing.

Compared to the additively manufactured parts previously developed and manufactured by Liebherr, the flex shaft has a higher degree of complexity and, states the company, represents the next step towards applications in highly integrated systems.

www.airbus.com/en

www.liebherr.com

Discover the story of AM in the aerospace industry

Download Metal AM magazine

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap