Weight reduction and function integration with titanium 3D printing

Task and challenge

CustomerIndustryProductUsed material
Autoflug GmbHAviationFan housing for helicopter pilotsTitanium alloy (TiAl6V4)

Autoflug GmbH was working on the re-design of the personnel protective equipment for helicopter crews, as the handling of individual components in flight had proven to be cumbersome and time consuming. The aim was to upgrade the previous fan housing for the cooling system in the pilots’ overalls to make it lighter and more compact. Additional objectives were to ensure intuitive haptic handling of the system and to increase the robustness of areas which previously had been prone to defects.

Optimization in numbers


reduced system dimensions


function integration


higher stiffness


  • Planning and implementation of a creative workshop to develop possible solutions
  • Development and design of the fan housing with self-guiding locking mechanism for the attachment to the pilots equipment
  • Utilization of lightweight potential through degrees of freedom in 3D printing
  • Additive Manufacturing of functional prototypes


  • Recuction of the overall system dimensions through an optimized design
  • Integration of functions through a self-centering metal closure system directly in 3D printing
  • Weight reduction and high stiffness by using titanium
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