Etihad Engineering, the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East, EOS, a leading supplier for responsible manufacturing solutions based on industrial 3D printing technology, and Baltic3D.eu, one of the largest industrial 3D printing centers in Northern Europe, have agreed to collaborate on a Research and Development project “FDM and SLS industrial 3D printing technology applicability in serial manufacturing of aircraft interior parts”.
Baltic3D has selected Laser Sintering (LS) technology of EOS among other powder bed solutions as a key competence partner considering the achievements EOS has demonstrated with qualification of their technology and materials for aerospace applications. Meanwhile Etihad Engineering, as an industry leader implementing additive manufacturing (AM) technologies in aerospace applications, will be supporting the joint R&D efforts by conducting flammability testing at its onsite Flammability Laboratory, and providing its engineering analysis and reports, as feedback on the designs and prototypes produced within the project.
Within the R&D project Baltic3D will print over 2,000 material coupons in LS technology, using the EOS P 396 machine (pictured above). These material samples will be tested at the Etihad Engineering Flammability Laboratory in Abu Dhabi, in accordance with aviation standards, including FST, heat release tests. It will be followed by creating several prototypes for aircraft interior part designs using LS technology.
Janis Jātnieks, co-founder and Board member of Baltic3D says “From part design to the end part manufacturing and certification, the aviation supply chain is heavily hit by COVID-19. With this R&D project we aim to significantly reduce time and money for Design organizations and OEMs have to invest to add additive manufacturing as additional manufacturing route to existing production or even to completely switch to complex parts production using AM. Our plan is to establish a comprehensive test and manufacturing data set that would help aerospace engineers to develop part designs for AM with high level of confidence.”
Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS adds: “EOS constantly is striving to be the most trusted partner with proven and reliable technology, continuously complying with the requirements of the aerospace industry. Over the last few years, we have managed to fully qualify our technology – meaning qualified materials, processes and systems for the aerospace world. Aerospace demands reliable data, which is the primary aim of this project, and thereby we firmly believe that this project will substantially accelerate the adoption of AM in aerospace.
He continues: “Baltic3D intends to increase the access of 3D printing know-how and test results to make adoption of industrial 3D printing faster and easier for any aviation company. We share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to highest quality solutions for our customers, as well as constant technology innovation and cost reduction for complex parts. We look forward to support Baltic3D and Etihad on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts even closer towards true serial additive manufacturing.”
Ahmad Rajei, Acting Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation, Etihad Engineering, said: “As the first MRO airline in the Middle East to receive EASA approval to design, produce and certify 3D printed cabin parts, we are delighted to support Baltic3D and EOS. The launch of this R&D initiative is in line with Etihad Engineering’s position as a leading global player in aircraft engineering as well as a pioneer in innovation and technology.”