The cabin and avionics specialist Diehl Aviation delivers the largest, fully 3D-printed part for passenger aircraft to date which is installed on an A350 XWB. The module, made using the FDM* procedure, is a Curtain Comfort Header – a complex enclosure for the curtain rail, that can measure up to 1140 x 720 x 240 mm. The curtains separate the classes from one another within the cabin. Qatar Airways will be the first airline to use the 3D-printed Curtain Comfort Header on board its aircraft. In a joint project, Diehl Aviation and Airbus developed the curtain header in close co-operation. With only 12 months between the first improved concept until delivery of the first ready-to-use model the project always was on the fast lane.
This new production method solves several problems for Diehl Aviation: Until now, these modules were formed from numerous layers of laminated fiberglass, each of which required its own individual, complex aluminum tool. Incorporating further functions was also an added, arduous task and could include anything from the simultaneous integration of cable channels, through emergency escape route signage, to specialized retaining clips. One complete Curtain Comfort Header is comprised of up to 12 component parts – all produced by a 3D printer and simply glued together when complete. This new production procedure has made many of the old, individual tools – which had previously been absolutely essential for manufacturing these parts – redundant.
Given these many advantages, Diehl Aviation is now only producing Curtain Comfort Headers for the A350 XWB with the 3D printing method. Furthermore the parts themselves require less reworks and can easily be removed for repairs or replacement, contributing to even shorter waiting times during repair works. Also, the modules can easily been customized for retrofit solutions. Passengers benefit from the precision-made parts that lead to dampen noise and allow better integration in the cabin.
The 3D printed exterior of the Curtain Comfort Header. Photo via Diehl Aviation.
The 3D-printed Curtain Comfort Headers already have the requisite approvals and are certified by the EASA. Diehl Aviation will be exhibiting the Curtain Comfort Header at its booth 7D20 at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.