While 3D printing has made huge impacts on manufacturing, many companies have only relied on it for prototyping parts, turning instead to more traditional manufacturing methods for final components. That’s been changing lately, as 3D printing technology advances and evolves, and as new materials develop with properties to rival even the oldest and most reliable materials used in traditional manufacturing.
One company that stands out in the development of production-grade polymer 3D printing materials is Roboze. Their Roboze One+400 3D printer, released earlier this year and updated just last month, has been one of the year’s most talked-about printers for its ability to print high-performance industrial materials such as PEEK, PEI and Carbon PA. It’s already becoming popular among major manufacturers in industries such as security and defense, as just one example, and it’s been changing production for a luxury helicopter company, as well.
Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG), which originated in Italy and has since branched out into Canada and the United States, specializes in the design and manufacture of customized interiors for high-end, luxury helicopters utilized by heads of state, powerful executives, and others. The company has been using 3D printing for a while, mainly for prototypes and concept models in their research and development operations. Now, though, they’re turning to the technology for the manufacture of actual functional components, thanks to the acquisition of a Roboze One+400 printer.
“We are not new in using 3D printers, until now mainly used to validate the work of designers and have aesthetic conceptual models of different details of our own design,” said Eng. Massarelli, head of MAG’s development division. “As MAG we always look to the future, seeking solutions, products and always cutting-edge processes. With the new Roboze One + 400 our company will become functional. We have already begun to print the finished products, not prototypes, but the final components printed in engineering plastics such as PEEK and PEI that will be installed directly after a rigorous validation process, on our upcoming helicopters.”
MAG was one of the companies that worked alongside Roboze as they developed the printer, providing advice and feedback about the needs of the aviation industry: materials with strong mechanical and thermal properties, machines with precision and repeatability, etc. Roboze achieved many of those goals with the One+400: engineering-grade polymer materials with properties comparable to metal, plus high precision and accuracy thanks to a patented beltless system.
“We are delighted that Mecaer Aviation Group has chosen Roboze to produce finished components in super polymers for its helicopters. The aviation sector is of great interest for us, we designed the One + 400 to meet the needs of this market by investing a lot in R & D on the extrusion process for engineering plastics such as PEEK. We expect the aerospace & aviation industry will represent for us in the next five years an important and strategic business channel,” said Alessio Lorusso, CEO of Roboze.
“Mecaer Aviation Group always looks towards the future, and it was one of the first major groups to understand the importance of an instrument such as the 3D printing to create significant competitive advantages within their own business. The management also of critical materials for aviation with Roboze One + 400, will certainly be a new opportunity to renew and innovate their own solutions in accordance with its great history of quality and exclusivity.”
Roboze will showcase some of the parts that MAG printed with the One+400 next week at formnext, which will be taking place in Frankfurt from November 15-18. Stop by Booth K28 to check them out – we’ll see you there! Discuss in the MAG forum at 3DPB.com.