The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on a new initiative just announced by 3D printing giant Stratasys in conjunction with aerospace behemoth Airbus.
Stratasys “was chosen by Airbus to make 3D printed polymer parts for use on the A350 XWB aircraft…Stratasys’ Direct Manufacturing unit will use its sophisticated commercial 3D printers to manufacture non-structural airplane parts such as brackets, and other parts that are used for system installation.”
Stratasys, which has dual headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel will 3D print these “non-structural airplane parts” using its “FDM 3D printers…[out of] heat resistant ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic resin. Officials said they expect the project will help Airbus achieve greater supply chain flexibility, improve costs, and reduce waste.”
Stratasys aims to “increase its aerospace customer base as commercial applications for the 3D printing machines it manufactures have greater returns than its consumer printing products. Stratasys’ 3D printers are already used throughout the $13 billion aerospace industry, but mostly to make prototypes and assembly tools for customers such as NASA, United Launch Alliance, Siemens, Boeing, and Airbus.”
In fact, “Stratasys’ FDM technology has been used to make Airbus tools since 2013.” Only now have the two companies chosen to come together in further partnership. Now Stratasys 3D printed parts will be used on actual functioning Airbus aircraft.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Stratasys and the Minneapolis Star Tribune