3D printing has a growing influence over the way Airbus designs, builds and maintains its products. Its use unshackles innovators like Jon Meyer from the constraints of traditional manufacturing methods.
Get to know Jon Meyer, additive layer manufacturing leader
From novelty to mainstream
New technologies are being applied more frequently to produce ever faster results in manufacturing. It’s never been easier for companies to get left behind if they fail to embrace the right technology at the right time.
A good example is 3D printing. Its official name is additive layer manufacturing, or ALM: the process of building up three-dimensional parts in two-dimensional layers as little as 0.05mm thick.
ALM lowers the cost of entry into the business of ‘making things'. It also raises the stakes for companies that build their reputation on their ability to innovate fast, whatever their size.
Unleashing creativity with 3D printing
Jon Meyer is Airbus Innovations’ ALM roadmap leader. His enthusiasm for new technology is infectious. “In my first week at Airbus, I went to a meeting about ALM and I had no idea what anyone was talking about. I went to see a 3D printer and was immediately hooked,” Meyer says with a laugh.
Meyer’s job is to act as a bridge between those with an understanding of the problems they are trying to solve and those who understand the latest technology. “My hope is that ALM ceases to be a novelty and becomes a mainstream approach to manufacturing,” he says.
3D printing requires a change of mindset to exploit the design freedom it brings. It revolutionises the speed at which we can iterate and test products. In a technology-driven environment such as Airbus, you can’t underestimate the disruptive nature of that change.
Building from the inside
Airbus is aiming to revolutionise the industry with 4D printing and digital materials, partnering with MIT’s leading researchers.
Did you find this story interesting? Keep exploring!
The future is digital New ways of manufacturing
Find out how 3D printing is just one of a new wave of technologies sweeping through Airbus.View Story