Materialise Takes 3D Printing to the Skies With Flight Ready Aerospace Certification Program

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ma2Materialise NV is a provider of additive manufacturing software and of sophisticated 3D printing solutions in the medical and industrial markets. Now Materialise has announced the expansion of the company’s offerings to the aerospace industry via certifications.

In completing the process of EN9100 and EASA 21G certification, Materialise now does authorized delivery of “airworthy” additively manufactured, end-use parts to clients worldwide. The latest certification means that, in addition to the  prototypes and software that the company already provides to customers, theyen9100 can deliver flight-ready parts to reduce the weight, performance and operating costs of aircraft.

“We at Materialise have enjoyed a long collaboration with the aerospace industry as providers of high-quality prototypes, production tools and cutting-edge software,” says Jurgen Laudus, the Director of the Factory for 3D Printing at Materialise. “We have also recognized the growing demand for the manufacturing of end-use parts that are ready to take to the skies. By obtaining these certifications, we are ready to fulfill this demand by additively manufacturing functional end-use parts for partners throughout the sector in order to improve the overall performance of their aircraft.”

For example, EN9100 reduces costs and improves quality by eliminating multiple variations of the same aerospace-ready part requirements. In the past, aerospace suppliers were forced to deal with customer-specific requirements which demanded moderately different ways of accomplishing the same task, but EN9100 ‘harmonizes’ the requirements worldwide, and suppliers can now focus on developing a single quality management system aimed at reducing waste and redundant efforts.

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Some aerospace manufacturers undergo more than 50 customer audits a year, and any company experienced in dealing with those auditing schedules know that repeated QMS audits disrupt day-to-day activity and hamper efficiency. These certifications mean customers can rely on certificates issued by independent, accredited and competent registration bodies attesting to the supplier’s 9100-compliant system, so they can now focus their time and resources on product and process-specific assessments.

The EN9100 is a certification of quality assurance for the Aeronautic and Aerospace sector, and EASA Part 21G certified production organization can deliver parts with a Form 1, implying that the parts are “ready to fly”.

Materialise says that by certifying their advanced and mature additive manufacturing production facilities around the world, they’re even more able to meet the demands of partners throughout the aerospace sector.  These certifications currently apply to the manufacturing of plastic parts, but Materialise says plans are in the works to certify additional materials in the near future.

This could be a major boon for the aerospace industry as new lighter weight components may be able to reduce fuel usage, and cut costs across the board.

Do you know of any other AM companies which have completed the EN9100 certification process? Let us know what you think in the Materialise Takes to the Skies forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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