view on erath out of aircraft window | © Unsplash

3D Printing for Aviation

Efficiently and Sustainably Produced High-Tech Parts

Additive Manufacturing for Engine, Turbine Parts and more

Want to manufacture functional parts with complex geometries and defined aerodynamic properties cost-effectively and as quickly as possible? Unthinkable? No.  
Engine and turbine parts are typical examples of what’s possible with industrial 3D printing, as well as parts for cabin interiors.

Functional integration, the development of increasingly complex designs and the parts that come with them are key drivers in the aerospace industry. Saving materials and weight, reduces both the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions. Today, these topics are more important than ever before. That’s why leading aerospace companies have long been integrating additive manufacturing technology when planning their production strategies for the future.

In close collaboration with leading companies from the aerospace sector, we have accomplished and accompanied many different success stories.

Our added value takes the form of a consistent solution: from the provision and implementation of 3D printing systems to individual consulting and support with qualified processes for materials, systems, parts or complete assemblies. This intensive collaboration is advancing the industry’s innovative strength. A few major market players are planning to additively manufacture significant sections of their aircraft’s interiors in the upcoming years.

At a Glance
Advantages of 3D Printing for Aviation


  • Less Weight
    Industrial 3D printing can manufacture very strong and lightweight structures that achieve weight reductions of around 40-60 %. The effects: leaner cost structures, material savings and lower fuel consumption. 

  • Functional Integration
    The process allows maximum functionality to be integrated into as few parts as possible. The advantages: assembly and quality assurance costs are reduced, and the vulnerabilities associated with assemblies of many different components are eliminated.

  • More Flexible Production Planning
    The tool-free production process allows product adaptations to be implemented more quickly. Spare part storage can be significantly reduced by manufacturing on demand without an extended lead time. The cost advantages become strongly apparent over the long life cycles of aircraft.

  • Industry-Compliant Materials & Strengths
    EOS systems process specialized materials for the aerospace industry. 3D printed parts meet industry-specific requirements to various safety-relevant hazard levels commonly used in aerospace. 

  • Complex Parts
    Industrial 3D printing enables a wide range of design optimizations – from part customization and upgrades to exclusive innovations that can only be manufactured additively.

  • Lower CO2 Emissions
    More efficient engine, turbine and lightweight parts for interiors reduce the fuel consumption and hence the CO2 emissions of aircraft.

  • Significant Cost Reductions
    Additive manufacturing is a tool-free process. This means that significant cost savings can be achieved in comparison to conventional manufacturing processes.  

Manufacture Engine Parts for Aviation With Industrial 3D Printing

Constructing engines and turbines means mastering challenges such as optimizing volume, performance and environmental friendliness. In these areas, 3D printing can make a significant contribution. It allows engines with sophisticated geometries, defined aerodynamic and fluid dynamic properties to be produced, as well as lightweight structures whose individual parts weigh up to 60 % less. Processing superalloys is also more cost-effective with 3D printing, since the material usage rate is lower. The results: significantly reduced environmental pollution over the lifetime of the aircraft. Parts made from a single piece are also more resilient and less susceptible to damage. 

EOS Technology for Aviation
What Our Customers Have to Say

"The EOS technology is characterized by its great design freedom and the significantly shortened development, production and delivery times. In addition, development and production costs are drastically reduced. Components of lighter weight and greater complexity can be made a reality and production requires less material and minimal tools."

Dr. Karl-Heinz Dusel  |  MTU

Company logo Liebherr | © Liebherr

"The 3D printed valve block has proven that additive manufacturing with EOS technology is feasible for building critical primary flight components."

Alexander Altmann  |  Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg

Company logo Vectoflow | © Vectoflow

"Our team has many years of experience in fluid-dynamic development as well as in the industry. We are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit that results in the continuous improvement and expansion of our product range, with innovative production methods playing a key role. We are absolutely convinced by EOS technology. It is revolutionary."

Katharina Kreitz  |  Vectoflow

Additive Manufacturing for Aircraft Interior

Potential for cost saving, design improvement and shorter lead times
Aircraft interior | © Adobe Stock
Additive Manufacturing for Aviation

Locking Shaft for the Aircraft Door of an Airbus A350

Airbus is a global leader in the aerospace industry and related services. 3D printing technology by EOS helps Airbus to build a more cost- and resource-efficient aircraft. Additively manufacturing a locking shaft for aircraft doors achieved remarkable results:

  • 45 % weight reduction of the additively manufactured part, while keeping the same robustness
  • 25 % savings in production costs by reducing material usage and assembly times
  • Number of parts reduced from 10 to 1
  • Weight reduction of more than 4 kg across 16 door shafts installed in an A350 aircraft

The component was made from titanium on the EOS system EOS M 400-4.

Flying airplane Airbus A 359 | © Airbus
MTU Aero Engines

Series Production of Parts for an Airbus Engine With EOS Systems

MTU Aero Engines, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer, has optimized its EOS machines to manufacture safe and cost-efficient parts in series. Using additive manufacturing, MTU builds borescope bosses for the geared turbofans of the new generation of PurePower® PW1100G-JM engines by Airbus A320neo. The low-pressure turbine in the A320neo turbofan is the first turbine ever to be equipped with additively manufactured borescope bosses by default. The cost benefits of EOS technology were one of the decisive factors for both production and development.

3D printed borescope eye of an aircraft engine | © MTU
Additive manufacturing of borescope eyes for the geared turbofans of the new PurePower® PW1100G-JM engine generation of the Airbus A320neo.

Quality Assurance for Aviation

Optical Tomography Technique
3D printed borescope eyes on bulid plate of EOS M 290 industrial 3D printer  | © MTU
  • Fast: development, manufacturing and delivery times are significantly reduced

  • Flexible: very high design freedom

  • Cost-efficient: low material and tool usage, drastically reduce development and manufacturing costs

  • The EOS system supports comprehensive quality assurance, including online monitoring and optical tomography.


Manufacture Assemblies and Structural Parts With Industrial 3D Printing

Reduce cost drivers – a key factor to manufacture structural parts for the aviation sector more efficiently. Digitalized manufacturing processes offer wide-ranging opportunities. Thanks to additive manufacturing, multiple parts can be combined into a single component, eliminating production steps such as assembly. The process of storing spare parts, which currently ties up a lot of capital, is also becoming obsolete. Production only ever occurs when a part is needed, without requiring any preliminary processes. Additionally, additively manufactured structural parts are comparatively lighter, which helps to balance the CO2 footprint of aircraft.

Close-up 3D printed valve block  | © Liebherr


Parts for the Primary Flight Control of the Airbus A380

Liebherr Aerospace is a leading supplier of systems for the aviation industry. With more than fifty years of experience, the company develops, manufactures and maintains a variety of aircraft instruments, including flight control and actuation systems, landing gears, air management systems and gearboxes.

Using their metal 3D printer, the EOS M 400-4, Liebherr produced an innovative high-pressure hydraulic block for the Airbus A380. The new additively manufactured valve block achieves the same performance as the conventionally made part but is much lighter and contains fewer individual components. The part is made from a titanium alloy and satisfies all of the certification requirements needed for flight operations.

  • -35 % weight reduction
  • -10 individual parts functional integration

Interiors and Aircraft Fittings Manufactured Additively

Additive manufacturing with polymer technology is also becoming increasingly important for cabin interiors. There are several reasons: in this type of environment, high customization and flexible tool-free production are crucial. Materials used in the cabin also have to satisfy very strict requirements, e.g. in terms of flammability. The technology needs to be capable of processing these materials, especially when complex designs such as twisted strands are required. Finally, a consistent build process is necessary, with minimally complex post-processing, as well as a digital spare parts strategy and digital spare parts, with virtual inventories. Polymer technology for industrial 3D printing meets all of these criteria.

3D printed armrest with lattice structure | © EOS

Etihad Engineering 
The Aircraft Cabin of the Future

Etihad Engineering is the largest service provider for aircraft maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) in the Middle East. As a subsidiary of the Etihad Aviation Group, the company offers around-the-clock maintenance services, including design, composite material repairs, cabin refitting and part-related services, in its modern facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport. 

"Together with EOS, Etihad opened the first 3D printing manufacturing facility in the Middle East approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to design and manufacture aircraft parts."

The EOS P 396 system allows parts to be manufactured from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR and can therefore be used to manufacture cabin parts that are replaced during the aircraft inspection process known as C-checks. Defects can also be remedied quickly by manufacturing any needed parts while performing maintenance during regular aircraft downtime (line maintenance).

"Etihad and EOS are known for high-quality solutions and technological innovations and share the same mindset: “Together, we want to take the design and production of parts for aircraft interiors to the next level,” says Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President for the EMEA Region at EOS. “Additively manufactured cabin interior parts offer significant added value thanks to the simplified repairs, lightweight design, shorter lead times and flexible customization options. This tackles some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”

Markus Glasser | Senior Vice President for the EMEA Region | EOS GmbH

Etihad technicians at work on the industrial 3D printer EOS P 396 | © Etihad
Etihad Technicians at Work on an EOS P 396

3D Printing for Aviation

Our Additive Manufacturing Solutions & Customer Examples

Liebherr | 3D Printed Primary Flight Control Hydraulic Component

First metal 3D printed primary flight control hydraulic component flies on an Airbus A380. World premiere in civil aviation with EOS technology.

3D printed cable routing mount of an aircraft

Sogeti | Additive Manufacturing for the New A350 XWB

Experts from Sogeti High Tech succeeded in developing a cable mount on the front spar of the vertical stabilizer for the passenger aircraft in record time with EOS technology and expertise.

3D printed flow measurement probe | © EOS & Vectoflow

Vectoflow GmbH | 3D Printed Flow Measurement Probe

Extremely rigid and durable: this compact flow measurement probe was made in one piece using industrial 3D printing.