Last April, Etihad Airways & BigRep defined a strategy for the aerospace industry. In addition to focusing on aircraft cabin interiors, this collaboration was intended to address issues of the retrofit market.

It was made official a few days ago, Etihad Airways will now use BigRep’s large format 3D printer ONE for maintenance, operations and repair plant in Abu Dhabi. The 3D printer will be used to manufacture jigs, fixtures and non-flying parts on demand.

In addition, this partnership will allow us to discover the potential of BigRep’s recently unveiled 3D printer EDGE. This will allow new materials for aircraft cabin parts to be tested and certified.

Etihad’s interest goes beyond large format 3D printing. The provider of commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services in the Middle East is also interested in industrial 3D printing.

In order to build other aircraft parts at its Abu Dhabi site, Etihad Airways would like to use EOS technology. According to the company, by manufacturing some aircraft parts using industrial 3D printing, it could benefit from optimized repair, lightweight designs, reduced lead times and customization options, especially for aircraft modifications.

This is only the beginning for the aeronautical company. In the long run, one can expect it to exploit additive manufacturing to test and qualify new polymers, or even to exploit it in its service offer to its customers and its business network.

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