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Sirris supports pilot 3D-printing project in the aerospace industry

ASCO designs and manufactures a wide variety of products for the aerospace industry, ranging from lift mechanisms to complex mechanical components and assemblies. Among other things, the R&D department of this multinational with its headquarters in Brussels works on advanced designs for laminar wing profiles, which was the first project where ASCO decided to make use of 3D printing. Sirris successfully guided the company as it explored this area for the first time.
  • Sirris worked with ASCO on getting an existing component of an airplane wing ready for manufacturing using 3D printing.
  • The result is a component that not only brings together various features but is also 30% lighter, thereby cutting costs.
  • In addition, ASCO explored with Sirris the possibility of adopting 3D printing throughout its production chain.


ASCO, with its headquarters in Brussels and production sites in Belgium, Germany and the United States, is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of lift mechanisms and complex, high-precision mechanical assemblies and components for the aerospace industry.

By producing a more versatile component that is also 30% lighter, the pilot project with Sirris helped to keep on the right track and provides a fine illustration of the possibilities 3D printing offers in the aerospace industry.

Exploring the possibilities

What implications is 3D printing likely to have for the aerospace industry? That was the question the ASCO R&D team wanted to fully investigate. During the pilot project, the team focused on a gooseneck bracket, a part of an airplane wing that looks like the neck of a goose. This static bracket is surrounded by other, moving components of the Krueger flap, an adjustable flap on the front of the wing that adjusts the airflow and so raises or reduces the level of lift. ASCO called in Sirris to examine how the gooseneck bracket could be manufactured and refined using 3D printing. 

From blueprint to final design

Adhering to strict design guidelines, our Additive Manufacturing team worked with ASCO's R&D team on developing various 3D blueprints for the new gooseneck bracket. After a selection process, the final design was prepared for production via a process called selective laser melting, in which a laser melts layers of metal powder into a single unit. The geometry of this new design was then thoroughly examined to check whether it affected the post-processing of the component. 

Ready for the next step

The enhanced gooseneck bracket not only brings together various beneficial features but is also 30% lighter: a significant difference in a sector where every kilogram less in weight results in savings of €500 to €1,000. Throughout the process, ASCO also assessed the maturity of 3D printing and learned to more effectively tailor its blueprints accordingly, starting with the initial design phase. Moreover, the company can now also form an objective picture of the possibilities provided by additive manufacturing throughout its production chain - and indeed the next step for ASCO in its work with Sirris over the months to come will be to look at precisely this issue.