Stratasys, a 3D printing and additive manufacturing company, announced that its next- generation manufacturing technology can quickly produce lightweight, strong thermoplastic parts, which range in size from an armrest to an airplane internal panel.
Stratasys says its Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator uses a ground-breaking approach to FDM extrusion that raises repeatability and throughput. It can print on a vertical plan, offering almost unlimited part size in the build direction.
At present, Boeing is utilizing an Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator to study the production of lightweight, low volume parts. A whole cabin sidewall panel has been made in ULTEM 9085 to meet the toxicity, smoke and flammability requirements for certified airplane interiors.
According to Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, additive manufacturing is a big opportunity for Boeing and its customers so they decided more than a decade ago to work closely with Stratasys on this technology.
They are always searching for ways to decrease the weight and cost of airplane structures or to reduce the time taken to prototype and test new products and tools so they can deliver them to customers in a more rapid and affordable way.
Much larger products with possibly unlimited length can be made with the Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator, giving them a breakthrough tool that can be added to their robust additive manufacturing processes.