- Collaboration Set to Accelerate Certification of Additively Manufactured Parts.
GKN Aerospace, a well-known aerospace technology leader, and Materialise, a global pioneer in 3D printing solutions and services, have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to advance additive manufacturing in aviation industry. The collaboration will aid in the advancement of research, design, and manufacturing of polymer additively manufactured (AM) parts for the aviation industry. The letter of intent was signed at the Paris Air Show and is an extension of their successful collaboration.
Materialise has been a polymer AM supplier to GKN Aerospace since 2015, and has assisted in the delivery of the additively manufactured wingtip for Eviation’s Alice, the world’s largest all-electric aircraft, which took to the skies in 2022.
Partnership to Propel Additive Manufacturing in Aviation
GKN Aerospace and Materialise intend to collaborate to accelerate AM process certification and push the boundaries of additive production of functional and flight-critical aerostructures by leveraging its unique manufacturing benefits.
The collaboration ranges from prototyping to the production of functional and flight-critical parts, all while aligning with emerging sustainability trends and opportunities in the industry. The partnership will concentrate on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in particular.
The collaboration of GKN Aerospace and Materialise has already enabled significant AM milestones, such as the successful delivery and certification of multiple AM parts that are currently flying.
“This powerful alliance aims to leverage our combined expertise and the exceptional benefits of 3D printing to push the boundaries of innovation in the aeronautics industry. Together, we aim to drive technological advancements, respond more effectively to customer requirements, and shape the future of aerospace manufacturing.”– Jurgen Laudus, Vice President of Materialise Manufacturing
The potential for additive manufacturing to revolutionise the aviation industry is significant, with the ability to create lighter and stronger parts that were previously unattainable with conventional manufacturing technologies, while also saving time and money during the manufacturing process.
“Materialise is a valued AM supplier for GKN Aerospace, and partnering with them on this ground-breaking technology has been a success for both companies. AM is out there and flying on aircraft around the world today and will be critical to achieve a more sustainable future of flight ahead.”– Russ Brigham, Programme Director at GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace and Materialise bring complementary manufacturing experience in a variety of additive manufacturing technologies. Materialise, a pioneer in the production of certified parts for various industries, offers EASA 21.G-certified flying parts, software solutions, and consultancy services to the aerospace industry. GKN Aerospace, a global additive manufacturing technology leader, has load-bearing AM structures certified and in serial production, as well as numerous other AM parts flying today for commercial, military, rotorcraft, and space applications.
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