In order to address the current challenges that the aviation industry is facing due to COVID-19 restrictions, Boeing seems set to continue to invest in the future through cutting-edge, additive manufacturing technologies to unleash possibilities and leverage 3D printing – including but not limited to EOS and SLM Solutions metal systems – in the design and manufacturing of parts and tools. The aerospace giant just released a video from inside Boeing’s Auburn site in Washington State: the Boeing Additive Manufacturing (BAM) Fabrication Center was established to further the company’s efforts to develop repeatable, stable and reliable additive manufacturing processes, and meet certification and qualification requirements to increase additive manufacturing production of fly-away parts and systems.
“This was placed in the ‘heart’ of the Boeing Fabrication Division in Auburn to use synergies across the site in order to accelerate the qualification of additive manufacturing production,” said Tamas Havar, director of the BAM Fabrication Center.
Additive manufacturing can help address the current crisis by reducing cost and weight through the design and production of lightweight structures with reduced assembly and faster production. Boeing 3D prints titanium and aluminum parts on 9 metal powder-bed machines housed inside a 32,000-square footprint room which also houses laboratory equipment.
The center also houses large polymer printing for tooling on a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing printer that’s located in the manufacturing factory adjacent to the print room. The LSAM system from Thermwood has a 20-foot print bed that can print tooling as large as 10 feet wide, 20 feet long and 5 feet tall. Polymer printing is also present in a 4,500-square foot space with 13 filament extrusion (including fused deposition modeling systems from Stratasys) and post-processing capabilities. These polymer FFF machines can print tools and parts, such as ducts, brackets and interiors.
Office space in a mezzanine above the factory floor and conference rooms to drive increased collaboration and integration between the additive manufacturing engineers and machine technicians.