In what is one of its largest single orders to date, Stratasys has announced that Latvia-based specialist aerospace additive manufacturing service provider, AM Craft, has purchased four large-scale production-grade Stratasys F900 3D Printers to provide certifiable 3D printed parts for a much wider range of aircraft interior applications.
This includes everything from aircraft seating, panelling and ducting, as well as making it much more affordable for its aerospace customers to introduce customisation within the cabin.
“In recent years, we’ve seen an ongoing demand for 3D printed production parts among major aircraft OEMs,” commented Jānis Jātnieks, co-founder and CEO, of AM Craft. “Although COVID-19 has shocked the industry in the last few months, we are seeing efforts to return to business by remodeling passenger planes for cargo shipments, as well as projects to increase customer safety measures and improve the inflight customer experience – for example by providing mobile device charging stations and Wi-Fi infrastructures. In such cases, additive manufacturing is way ahead of slower and more costly traditional methods.
He added: “One of the mainstay pillars that enables us to realise this business case into real-world applications is Stratasys’ highly-repeatable FDM-based 3D printing technology in conjunction with aerospace-grade materials like ULTEM™ 9085 resin. Crucially, this gives us the capability to meet strict rules and regulations around certification that require the highest level of repeatability and traceability with every part manufactured.”
The flame-retardant, high-performance ULTEMTM 9085 resin meets stringent flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) criteria and retains traceability required by the aerospace industry.
The material is used by aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, which has successfully standardised it for the production of thousands of flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft.
Certified to Airbus material specifications, ULTEMTM 9085 resin allows the company to produce strong yet lightweight aircraft interior parts at significantly reduced manufacturing cost.
AM Craft’s investment will compliment an existing hardware line-up of four Stratasys Fortus F450mc 3D Printers. Collectively, the battery of eight FDM-based machines will provide the heartbeat of a dedicated new additive manufacturing facility in Riga that will focus specifically on fulfilling the application requirements of the company’s customer base of aircraft suppliers and airlines.
AM Craft’s investment will see the company become one of the largest independent aerospace-focused 3D printing service providers in EMEA.