BigRep and Etihad Airways address AM solutions for retrofit installations and the production of cabin parts
BigRep and Etihad Airways Engineering will define together a strategy for Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions for the aerospace industry. The two companies aim to take advantage of 3D printing for the production of cabin parts.In addition to focusing on cabin interior parts for aircrafts, this collaboration will also address issues of the retrofit market. Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Engineering, Design & Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering, explained that focusing on those two aspects will enable them to serve their airline customers with innovative and smart solutions.Stephan Beyer on his side, CEO (interim) & CFO of BigRep GmbH, lays emphasis on the fact that they “have to jointly certify new aviation materials and establish specific AM design and engineering guidelines in parallel.”
Technically speaking, it is a win-win partnership to the extent that Etihad Airways Engineering has a deep experience in the aircraft cabin lifecycle and BigRep has the professional skills required to build novel cabin concepts using additive manufacturing.
However, as far as the manufacturing is concerned, according to the two companies, there is a need for a wider spectrum of AM-suitable polymer materials that can pass the aerospace certification process.
The truth is, one of the main factors prohibiting a breakthrough of AM for aircraft cabin interiors is the absence of a broader variety of highperformance materials that are EASA and FAA-certified. Both parties have agreed to jointly develop and test new material grades in accordance with EASA and FAA criteria. To be continued…
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