The United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways has long been serious about incorporating 3D printing into its airplanes, particularly cabin components. Now Etihad Airways Engineering, the largest aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provided in the Middle East, has partnered with 3D printer manufacturer EOS to expand local capabilities for 3D printing in the aviation field.
The initial phase of the collaboration will use EOS technology and involve the qualification of machines, processes and materials in accordance with aviation regulatory requirements.
“Etihad constantly invests in new technology and has identified additive manufacturing as a key technology for aviation interior parts, as well as applications beyond aerospace in the future,” said Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering. “The technology is a key enabler when it comes to design and innovation in our industry. Etihad is proud to work towards a vision of a 3D-printed cabin interior.”
Once the initial steps have been completed, Etihad Airways Engineering will certify the additive manufacturing process and further develop additive manufacturing capabilities based on the technology. Along with EOS, the company will also work to develop, test and qualify new polymer materials. Over the long term, Etihad plans to roll out 3D printing among its customers and within its broader ecosystem.
“Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions,” said Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Export Region at EOS. “As such we share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to high quality solutions and constant technology innovation. We are honored to support our partner on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.”
The partnership will enable Etihad Airways Engineering to produce 3D printed aircraft parts at its facility in Abu Dhabi. After a structured selection process, cabin interior parts will be 3D printed, which offers a number of benefits. 3D printing allows for lightweight design, and when it comes to airplanes, the more lightweight components can be included, the better. Any reduction in weight allows for better fuel efficiency, saving money as well as having a positive impact on the environment. 3D printing also enables shorter lead times as well as the opportunity for customization.
As 3D printing becomes more and more common in the aerospace industry, many people think more of high-strength metal components being used in engines, for example, and less about the inside of the cabin itself. But the interior cabin of the airplane is just as full of opportunities for using 3D printing, if not more so, and Etihad has seized on those opportunities in particular. When it comes to making an aircraft more lightweight, or saving money and time, no part is too small to revamp using 3D printing.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.
You May Also Like
NIST Awards $4M to Four Institutions for Metal 3D Printing Research
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency that promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness across the country, has awarded close to $4 million...
Xerox’s PARC to Use AlphaSTAR Simulation to 3D Print Turbomachinery Parts
California-based Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a Xerox-owned research and development subsidiary company, has selected AlphaSTAR technology to create a virtual additive manufacturing (AM) approach that will save both time...
Air Force Awards Optomec $1M for High Volume 3D Printing Repair of Turbines
Optomec, a leading provider of additive manufacturing repair solutions, has won a $1 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to produce a system for the refurbishment of turbine engine...
3D Printed Turbine Combines 61 Parts into One
In July this year, Velo3D had qualified a new nickel-based alloy, Hastelloy X, due to its suitability in the additive manufacturing of power generation components such as gas turbines, using...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.