BigRep and Etihad partner to develop 3D-printed aerospace parts – Aerospace Technology

BigRep and Etihad will primarily develop 3D printed cabin parts for aircraft. Credit: BigRep GmbH.

Etihad Airways Engineering and BigRep have collaborated to explore new approaches to develop 3D-printed components for the aerospace industry.

The partnership will primarily focus on the development of cabin interior parts for Etihad’s new aircraft and for the retrofit market.

Etihad Airways Engineering’s experience around the aircraft cabin lifecycle and 3D printer provider BigRep’s additive manufacturing equipment will be leveraged in the partnership.

In addition, the companies will jointly develop and test new material grades that comply with the guidelines of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Our goal is to enable 3D printing technologies for cabin parts, on new aircraft or for retrofit installations, to serve our airline customers with innovative and smart solutions.”

Currently, the lack of high-performance materials certified by EASA and FAA has made it difficult for the manufacturers to develop improved 3D-printed aircraft cabin interiors.

Etihad Engineering, Design and Innovation vice-president Bernhard Randerath said: “Etihad Airways Engineering and BigRep share a vision to bring the 3D-printed cabin into production together with our partners.

“Our goal is to enable 3D printing technologies for cabin parts, be it on new aircraft programmes or for retrofit installations, to serve our airline customers with innovative and smart solutions.”

In February last year, Etihad Airways Engineering received an approval from EASA to design and certify 3D-printed parts for aircraft interiors.

The approval has made the company the first airline under EASA to perform certification approvals for 3D printed parts flying on Etihad Airways aircraft.

BigRep and its innovation unit NOWlab have also collaborated with leading companies in the fields of aerospace, automotive, education, manufacturing, and other industries to develop next-generation technology.

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