Marshall Aerospace and Defence to 3D Print Final Flight Parts for Aircraft Program

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is now taking advantage of Stratasys 3D Printing technology to manufacture, flight-ready parts for several of its military, civil and business aircraft – while producing specific ground-running equipment at a lower cost than aluminum alternatives.

Marshall delivers engineering services to a wide range of global customers including customers from the Aerospace and Defense industries.

Marshall already has several pieces of 3D-printed ductwork flying on heavily modified aircraft, as well as holders for safety knives and switches for aircraft interiors. 3D printing flight-approved parts on demand enables the company to produce lighter parts than traditional methods, significantly faster and at lower cost.

According to Chris Botting, Materials, Processes and Additive Manufacturing Engineer at Marshall ADG, repeatability and reliability of 3D printed parts using aerospace-approved materials are key factors in achieving the performance requirements necessary for use within aircraft.

When manufacturing on complex engineering programs, we need a method that can create an accurate, complex, functional and lightweight duct efficiently with minimal tooling costs – this is where 3D printing fits perfectly. But we also need to ensure that the ducting work produced will be approved by the EASA for flight,” explains Botting. “As a result, we’re using the Stratasys Fortus 450mc FDM Printer and ULTEM™ 9085 resin – a tough, yet lightweight 3D printing material with high thermal and chemical resistance. This has been crucial to overcoming the stringent requirements of our industry, as we can now 3D print parts with the desired flame, smoke and toxicity properties for use on aircraft interiors.

FDM technology has altered the way we work, and the aerospace-grade 3D printers and materials enable us to meet our increasingly aggressive deadlines and complex manufacturing requirements,” Botting said. “In the future, there is no doubt that 3D printing will continue to have a significant impact in the way we design and manufacture in our business.”

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