We’ve seen 3D printing being used in all kinds of industries where it can be used to create things on the spot that might otherwise take a long time. It also helps companies and users create working prototypes on the fly, and we’ve also seen how it can be used in the fashion industry to help create customized sneakers.
However it seems that very near future should be ever get to fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, know that there will be some components that are made as a result of 3D printing. This is thanks to Boeing teaming up with Norwegian company Norsk Titanium who will be using 3D printing to create structural titanium components for the plane.
Boeing expects that by 2018, the use of 3D printing will help them shave $2-3 million off the cost of each 787 Dreamliner. Note that planes already do use 3D printed parts to some extent, as Reuters points out, where General Electric already uses 3D printing for the fuel nozzles for aircraft engines, but this will be the first time a 3D printed part will be used in a part of a plane that bears the stress of the frame during a flight.
According to Boeing the reason for turning to 3D printing is because for the 787, it uses more metal compared to other models and traditionally manufactured titanium alloy can be very expensive.