EOS, the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing, and Etihad Airways Engineering, the largest aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East, have agreed a strategic partnership which will significantly expand local capabilities for industrial 3D printing in aviation. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Additive Manufacturing and Lightweight Materials for Aerospace and Defence 2018-2028.
The partnership agreed at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will enable Etihad Airways Engineering to produce aircraft parts at their facility in Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the race were able to view a full-scale 3D printed front wing of a Formula 1 car and speak to 3D printing experts.
The initial phase of this collaboration, which uses EOS technology with an EOS system for additive manufacturing (AM), will include the qualification of machine, process and materials in accordance with aviation regulatory requirements.
Following a structured selection process, suitable cabin interior parts will be produced through the AM process, which offers a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation options, particularly during aircraft modifications.
Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering said: “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. 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.”
Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Export Region at EOS adds: “Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions. 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.”
After the initial steps have been completed, Etihad Airways Engineering will certify the AM process, further develop additive manufacturing capabilities based on this technology and jointly with EOS develop, test and qualify new polymer materials. In the long term, Etihad plans to roll-out AM among their customers and within their broader ecosystem.