Industrial additive manufacturing company EOS today announced a collaboration with Etihad Airways Engineering, the predominant maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East. Together, the companies will accelerate and expand applications for industrial 3D printing in the aviation sector.
The partnership with EOS—reportedly established at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last week—marks the latest AM-related collaboration for the MRO services provider. That is, Etihad Airways is already working with a slew of other companies on AM-related initiatives, including Siemens, Strata Manufacturing, Diehl Aerosystems and BigRep.
Working with EOS, Etihad Airways will begin to produce 3D printed aircraft parts at its facility in Abu Dhabi. The first stage in the partnership will be focused on qualifying an EOS industrial AM machine, as well as the process and materials to meet aviation requirements and standards.
The parts that Etihad Airways is aiming to ultimately produce using an EOS platform are optimized parts for an aircraft’s cabin interior. Readers might recall that the MRO services company was the first company in the Middle East to design, certify and manufacture an aircraft interior part using 3D printing.
As the collaboration with EOS moves ahead, Etihad will continue to produce 3D printed aircraft interior components that have been optimized in terms of repair qualities and weight. AM also offers the benefits of shorter lead times and the potential for part customization.
“Etihad constantly invests in new technology and has identified additive manufacturing as a key technology for aviation interior parts, as well as applications beyond aerospace in the future,” commented Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering. “The technology is a key enabler when it comes to design and innovation in our industry. Etihad is proud to work towards a vision of a 3D printed cabin interior.”
Once EOS’ AM technology has been qualified for aviation applications, Etihad Airways says it plans to further develop its AM capabilities as well as developing, testing and qualifying new polymer materials in partnership with EOS. Down the line, the Middle Eastern aviation company hopes to offer AM to its customers as part of its “broader ecosystem.”
“Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions,” added Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Export Region at EOS. “As such we share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to high quality solutions and constant technology innovation. We are honored to support our partner on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.”