August 26, 2016 – 3D printing and additive manufacturing company, Stratasys, has announced that its next-generation manufacturing technologies can rapidly produce strong, lightweight thermoplastic parts ranging in size from an armrest to an entire aircraft interior panel.
According to Stratasys, its Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator features a “revolutionary approach” to FDM extrusion that increases throughput and repeatability. The system prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size in the build direction.
Boeing is currently using an Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator to explore the production of low volume, lightweight parts. An entire cabin sidewall panel has been produced in ULTEM 9085 to meet the flammability, smoke and toxicity requirements for certified aircraft interiors.
“Additive manufacturing represents a great opportunity for Boeing and our customers, so we made a strategic decision more than a decade ago to work closely with Stratasys on this technology. We are always looking for ways to reduce the cost and weight of aircraft structures, or reduce the time it takes to prototype and test new tools and products so we can provide them to customers in a more affordable and rapid manner. The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator enables products to be made at a much larger and potentially unlimited length, offering us a breakthrough tool to add to our robust additive manufacturing processes,” said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works.