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Thales designs titanium pedestals using additive manufacturing

One key problem with additive manufacturing techniques are the support structures involved in production. Thales Alenia Space, a company which designs and manufactures aerospace systems, is using the latest 3D manufacturing techniques to overcome that shortcoming. Sirris provided the relevant technological support.

3D printing has earned a place in the production of metal components. But one problem remains: the support structures used to hold the components. They slow down production times, cost a lot of money and must be removable at a later stage.
Thales Alenia Space was wrestling with this problem and called on the expertise of Sirris' Additive Manufacturing group. Olivier Rigo, Senior Engineer Additive Manufacturing, explains: “The best way to deal with this issue is with laser beam melting (LBM).”


The part is made of TiAI6V4 – a very strong titanium alloy – and is shaped like a three-legged pedestal. The project has been completed and resulted in eight titanium pedestals. The results are very positive in terms of durability, weight, responsiveness and finishing. For the mass production of these pedestals Thales Alenia will now look for a partner specialising in additive manufacturing.