Additive Manufacturing – design, optimization and fabrication process for aerospace and aeronautical applications


The Spanish aerospace company, FADA-CATEC offers services for the development of components using a novel additive manufacturing technology. Component design, followed by topology optimization of existing/new components enables clients to take full advantage of the freedom in design of the manufacturing process offered by the additive technology.  Final components can then be manufactured based on the optimized topology.


The technology solution provided by CATEC covers all steps of the development cycle, based on either an existing design or on specific functional specifications and constraints. The process starts from the design* (or redesign), including topology optimization** and rules for AM fabrication.  At this point the functionality of a part can be improved and/or maintained whilst reducing critical aspects e.g. weight, according to the imposed constraints. A range of materials and technologies are available for the fabrication. For metallic alloys, two SLM system (AM250 and EVO @ Renishaw) are available for fabrication in Ti6AL4V, SS316L, AlSi10Mg, Inconel 718© and Scalmalloy©. Polyamide Duraform PA and Duraform HST © are also available for HiQ 3DS system (SLS). Finally, a Markforge system is available for fabrication of polymer-based composites using continuous fibers.

The service provided by CATEC also includes the development of non-destructive testing (NDT) solutions and protocols based on X-Ray computed Tomography and digital radiography. Finally, facilities for ad-hoc mechanical testing are also offered under request to support component development and assessment.

* 3D model design activities are performed using CATIA v5 R18 to R22 (Dassault)
** Hyperworks (by Altair) tools are used for topology optimization.

Innovations and advantages of the offer

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a new production technique in which components are manufactured by the addition of successive layers of sintered material. Freedom of design is one of the main advantages that can enable a drastic weight reduction (typically from between 15% to 60%).

Further Information

Topology optimization is suited for complex geometries that are not feasible or unaffordable using conventional manufacturing techniques.  Through the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies this complex geometry manufacturing is possible.

It is essential that the design, optimization and manufacturing stages go hand-in-hand in this new manufacturing process, where every stage is dependent on the others. This is due to the constraints and part requirements that need to be achieved.

Components belonging to a future aerospace launcher (low shock clamp band LPSS – TRL 6) have been developed using this method.  In addition to other aerospace applications, civil and military aircraft are currently the most suited fields in which this technique could improve part efficiency.


  • Design and manufacture of components in aerospace field
  • Design and manufacture of components in civil and military aircraft

Comments on the technology by the broker

CATEC provides a complete additive manufacturing process, from design, through optimization to manufacturing.  The process has been used to develop novel components for existing and future space related applications and is suited to replacement solutions for existing parts in which weight savings are critical.

Description of Space Heritage

ALM project (AIRBUS D&S and CATEC) for FLPP.  TRL of the final separation system (low shock clamp band LPSS) using AM process has been established at TRL 6.

Facilities and Capabilities
Reference No.
Could this technology benefit your business? Please contact Richard Seddon Tecnalia (Spain)
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