Bigrep, a global leader in large-scale 3D printing announced that Etihad Airways Engineering will deploy the Bigrep ONE 3D printer in Maintenance, Operations, and Repair Facility at the Etihad home base in Abu Dhabi. The 3D printer will be used in daily operations to print jigs, fixtures and (non-flying) parts on site and on demand.
Earlier this year, Bigrep and Etihad Airways Engineering had entered into a partnership to develop next generation of additive manufacturing (AM) solutions for the Aerospace industry. The arrival of the 3D printer marks the first phase in a partnership between Bigrep and Etihad Engineering. Following this installation, Etihad Airways Engineering will then deploy Bigrep EDGE – a next generation industrial 3D printer with an aim to jointly develop, test and certify new materials for 3D printed aircraft cabin parts.
With the introduction of the new industrial 3D printers PRO and EDGE, unveiled just two weeks ago, Bigrep is moving forward to the production of end-use parts for the aerospace industry. Speaking about the new deployments, Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering & Innovation of Etihad Airways Engineering said, “We are at the forefront of bringing this exciting technology into aviation and will work with our partners to ensure a successful certification of 3D printing technology, and with it towards the vision of a 3D printed cabin.”
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Offering details of how Bigrep plans to accelerate the use of 3D printing in the aviation industry, Stephan Beyer, CEO of Bigrep GmbH said, “Thanks to our 3D printers, we will accelerate the use of Additive Manufacturing in the aviation industry. With the Bigrep PRO and EDGE, we will be able to unfold the full potential of our technology, together with Etihad Airways Engineering. These machines offer an unprecedented level of precision, quality and speed, and enable us to use the high-performance, innovative printing materials the aviation industry requires.”
As an innovation leader, Etihad Airways Engineering will leverage its experience around the aircraft cabin and will provide its design organisation approvals, as well as production organisation approvals and in-house flammability lab to test the 3D printed parts. In particular, Bigrep’s large-‐scale 3D printers are suited to printing large cabin parts with the possibility of a high level of customisation – one of the most challenging requirements in the airline industry.
In addition, the aim is to jointly develop and test new material grades in accordance with EASA and FAA criteria, as there is a need for a wider spectrum of AM‐suitable polymer materials that can pass the aerospace certification process.