Boeing Additive Manufacturing (BAM), the additive manufacturing arm of Boeing, a leading global aerospace company, officially inaugurated its new 3D printing facility in Auburn, Washington, has officially opened. The new Center of Additive Manufacturing Excellence (CoAME) designs and manufactures tools and parts for commercial aircraft, helicopters, spacecraft, and satellites using 3D printing technology.
Boeing gains a ‘competitive advantage’ by being able to 3D print aircraft tools and components, which traditional machinists cannot create. 3D printing can also reduce the cost and weight of these structures, making them stronger and more reliable while also accelerating the design and manufacturing processes.
Boeing Additive Manufacturing’s 3D Printing Facility
During the opening ceremony on 23rd September, Melissa Orm, Vice President of Boeing Additive Manufacturing, said, “Additive manufacturing allows us to fundamentally explore new ways to build our products. We can create parts that are practically or traditionally impossible.”
As per Orm, “Additive manufacturing is also greener and more sustainable than other methods because the process uses less energy and resources and creates fewer emissions, while the waste generated as a by-product of the process can be more easily recycled and reused. “So, additive manufacturing really aligns with our company’s commitment to reduce our global impact or carbon footprint.”
“The new BAM manufacturing center actually opened for business in January 2020, but without much fanfare, as Boeing had to postpone the opening ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So it’s been a while since we’ve done this, but this is the first time we’ve had a chance to celebrate it.”– Susan Champlain, Director of government operations for Commercial Aircraft, Boeing
While the facility is new, Boeing is no stranger to additive manufacturing. For more than three decades, the company has used additive manufacturing, beginning with tools and parts and progressing to polymers for fighter jets. Boeing has installed the first 3D-printed metal part in a commercial aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing products now contain over 70,000 additively manufactured parts.
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