VERONIKA – Efficient and Interconnected Product and Production Development for Aircraft Passenger Cabins

Subproject of DMRC: Additive lightweight structures for the aircraft cabin

Additive Manufacturing enables high innovation and absolutely new possibilities in design und structure for components of the aircraft cabin. The AM relevant work packages of VERONIKA (funded by the BMWi) aim to improve the planning-, design- and manufacturing processes for aircraft cabin parts. Within this project, the DMRC is responsible for analyzing the potentials of additive manufactured parts. Studies on AM processes, material for aircraft industries and design rules were created. Based on a case study several parts or assemblies have been selected and were optimized for lightweight, function and assembly integration or change in material. Finally, demonstrator parts are build and verified based on performance requirements as well as cost, time and quality.

The main aim of the DMRC work scope in the VERONIKA project is to enhance the understanding of AM for the aircraft cabin industry. AM implies high benefits for components of the aircraft cabin due to its high design freedom and potentially lower costs for small series. The applicability of the AM technologies fused deposition modelling, laser melting and laser sintering for components of the aircraft cabin shall be increased by consideration of several case study parts for different target aims and by development of process chain instructions for reproducible manufacturing.

The DMRC participates in two work packages of the collaborative project VERONIKA. In the first work package – Process Chain of Rapid Engineering – two different studies were worked out. The first study deals with the different AM processes and their processable materials. The second study is about part selection and design rules for parts generated by AM. Furthermore, material properties are determined and FE models are developed. A production instruction based on quality management will be prepared for the selected aircraft cabin components from WP2. Finally, a validation of the process chain shall be performed. In the second work package – Application of Additive Manufacturing – the project partners submitted several components of the aircraft cabin, which are parts for conventional manufacturing, and filled out a specification sheet template which was provided by the DMRC. Subsequently, several parts of the submitted cabin parts were selected by using a trade of methodology. Enabling factors for the selection are for instance highly complex parts, a high buy-to-fly ratio for conventional production, several contact points to surrounding parts or the possibility to integrate functions. The aim for the selected parts is then to perform a change into an AM compliant design and an optimization regarding material change, weight, part integration or function integration by e.g. topology optimization. Thereupon, process parameters shall be defined and demonstrators shall be produced. Further, the demonstrators shall be verified and squared with the specification analysis. 

Latest Results
The latest results after creating the studies and the selection of five cabin components are various optimizations of these components on basis of FE and material models. One component is optimized regarding function integration in form of heat transfer (see Figure 2). Further, a bracket is optimized concerning weight and part number reduction. The weight can be reduced drastically by up to 70 % and the number of parts can be decreased from two to one part. Part integration, material change and weight reduction were performed in another case study assembly. The number of parts were reduced from four to one part and only one material was used instead of two. Within this optimization procedure the manufacturing technology of laser sintering and laser melting were applied. First tests of the parts has been conducted on those prototypes.

Upcoming, the other parts shall be extensively verified and further optimization iterations shall be run. Production instructions will be developed and prepared. A validation of the total process chain shall be followed. Finally, demonstrators of the optimized parts shall be build.   


04/2016 – 7/2019


Diehl Service Modules GmbH, Diehl Aerospace Gmbh, Diehl Aircabin GmbH, AOA Gauting GmbH, Boeing Research & Technology Europe

Supported by

BMWi – Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy

Research leader

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Joachim Schmid (PVT)

Research assistants

Helge Klippstein, M.Sc.
Denis Menge, M.Sc.

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy