Safran Landing Systems and SLM Solutions have successfully tested Selective Laser Melting technology to produce a nose landing gear part for a bizjet.

The nose landing gear component is one that transfers the loads from the wheel to the aircraft structure and is retracted after take-off. This newly designed 3D printed part is said to meet ambitious resistance and mass reduction objectives, and has been patented by the aircraft landing and braking systems manufacturer.

Demonstrating the feasibility of using metal additive manufacturing to produce a part like this, the SLM 800 platform was harnessed to produce the 455 x 295 x 805 mm component in titanium. In what the companies believe is a ‘world first for a part of this size’, the part was redesigned for metal 3D printing to achieve a weight saving of around 15%, while also reducing the time of the entire production process.

The SLM 800 machine was chosen by Safran Landing Systems because of its vertically extended build envelope, quad-laser configuration and its patented gas flow and permanent filter, which help to ensure reliability. Titanium was selected as the most suitable material for its high mechanical properties and its natural resistance to corrosion.   

“We chose SLM Solutions as a partner because of their expertise and the SLM 800 machines, which exactly meets our requirements in terms of machine size and reliability,” commented Thierry Berenger, Additive Manufacturing project lead at Safran Landing Systems.

“Additive manufacturing contributes to save time in the qualification and certification phases by rapidly providing the parts for testing,” added Gerhard Bierleutgeb, EVP Global Services & Solutions at SLM Solutions. “We were able to produce the main fitting in a few days on the SLM 800 vs a few months with the forging process.”


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