Essentium, Inc., a worldwide leader in industrial additive manufacturing (AM), today announced a commercial venture with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), the largest university aviation R&D institution in the U.S., to accelerate AM advancement for the U.S. aviation industry. The collaboration is part of the Kansas Aviation Research and Technology Growth Initiative (KART), comprised of Kansas-based aviation companies including Airbus, Bombardier Learjet, Spirit AeroSystems, and Textron Aviation, which select programs to enable the future of aerospace innovation.

Located in Wichita, Kansas, the ‘Air Capital of the World’, NIAR will work with Essentium to advance extrusion AM through a multi-stage process to test solutions to benefit KART and the aerospace industry in general.

Future applications that could benefit from the collaboration between NIAR and Essentium include tooling, spare parts, and ultimately flight-worthy end-parts. The NIAR team will use the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSETM) 3D Printing Platform, which delivers groundbreaking speed and scale for rapid part production at the point of use and decreases the time and cost to certify new materials for use in flight. The platform will ensure reliability, repeatability, safety and performance to keep older aircraft flying, acquire needed spare parts, and innovate designs for new aircraft systems.

Essentium HSE at NIAR facility
Essentium HSE at NIAR facility

The Essentium HSE provides an open platform that offers aviation companies more choice in materials, giving them the flexibility to 3D print hundreds of aircraft parts in different colors and textures, in the same time it takes to assemble the components by traditional methods. Essentium engineers will use their experience and knowledge in materials science to tune the materials accordingly to process at speed while being strong enough to withstand impact loading and fatigue and protect electrostatic-sensitive devices.

With this venture, the next generation of AM innovation is poised for fast adoption as aviation companies strive to cut lead times and respond more quickly to market changes.

Supporting Quotes

John Tomblin, WSU Senior Vice President for Industry and Defence Programs and NIAR Executive Director: “Up until just a few years ago, AM technology wasn’t at the point where it could make parts that were precise and durable enough for safety-critical aircraft parts. Technology advancements from AM innovators like Essentium have transformed the manufacturing possibilities for the aviation industry and significantly decreased time-to-market.”

Josh Lawson, Sr. Dir. Business Development, Essentium: “By combining our 3D printing platform and materials with NIAR’s industry-specific knowledge and direct feedback from the KART members, we aim to create meaningful AM applications to help aviation companies rapidly produce parts on-demand, save money, reduce waste, and streamline the supply chain. Until now, the industry has been limited by the lack of choice in trusted industrial-scale AM solutions. We’re honored to collaborate with NIAR and members of KART in Wichita to be part of next generation solutions for aerospace and defense, helping the industry move forward to new levels of innovation and efficiency.”

About Essentium
Essentium, Inc. provides industrial 3D printing solutions that are disrupting traditional manufacturing processes by bringing product strength and production speed together, at scale, with a no-compromise engineering material set. Essentium manufactures and delivers innovative industrial 3D printers and materials, enabling the world’s top manufacturers to bridge the gap between 3D printing and machining and embrace the future of additive manufacturing. Essentium, Inc. is ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR certified.