Latvia-based aerospace additive manufacturing service provider, AM Craft, has purchased four large-scale production-grade F900 3D Printers from Stratasys so it can produce a wider range of certifiable 3D-printed parts for aircraft interior applications. These parts will include everything from aircraft seating, panelling and ducting, and AM Craft says it can make it more affordable for aerospace customers to introduce customisation within the cabin. Stratasys says the machine purchases represent one of its largest single orders to date,
“Both recovery from supply chain disruptions and cabin customisation require repeatable, cost-effective, low volume manufacturing,” stated Yann Rageul, director of manufacturing solutions at Stratasys.
“In recent years, we’ve seen an ongoing demand for 3D-printed production parts among major aircraft OEMs,” stated Jānis Jātnieks, CEO of AM Craft. “Although Covid-19 has shocked the industry in the last few months, we are seeing efforts to return to business by remodelling passenger planes for cargo shipments, as well as projects to increase customer safety measures and improve the inflight customer experience – for example by providing mobile device charging stations and wi-fi infrastructures. In such cases, additive manufacturing is way ahead of slower and more costly traditional methods.
“One of the mainstay pillars that enables us to realise this business case into real-world applications is Stratasys’ highly repeatable FDM-based 3D printing technology in conjunction with aerospace-grade materials like Ultem 9085 resin,” added Jātnieks. “Crucially, this gives us the capability to meet strict rules and regulations around certification that require the highest level of repeatability and traceability with every part manufactured.”
AM Craft’s investment will complement an existing hardware line-up of four Stratasys Fortus F450mc 3D Printers. Collectively, the battery of eight FDM-based machines will be key technologies at the company’s dedicated new additive manufacturing facility in Riga that will focus specifically on fulfilling the application requirements of the company’s customer base of aircraft suppliers and airlines. The facility is expected to be fully operational in Q4 2020.
AM Craft’s investment will see the company become one of the largest independent aerospace-focused 3D printing service providers in EMEA. The business will operate as a sister company to Baltic3D, a 3D-printing service provider that has worked with companies within the aerospace supply chain since 2017. Baltic3D has an ongoing collaborative partnership with certification company, Magnetic MRO, under whose POA (Production Organization Authorization) it was granted authorisation to produce certifiable aerospace parts.