Etihad Engineering has collaborated with leading German-based 3D printing technology providers, EOS and BigRep, to open the region’s first additive manufacturing facility with Design and Production Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, the laboratory features two approved industrial 3D printers.
The laboratory’s primary machine is the powder-bed fusion technology system EOS P 396, which recently received one of the first airline MRO approvals from EASA for 3D printing and will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.
Markus Glasser, senior vice president, Export Region, EOS, said: “Being committed to high-quality solutions and constant technology innovation, Etihad Engineering and EOS share the same mindset. Together, we want to bring the design and production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.” Glasser continues: “Producing cabin interior parts additively will offer a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation, addressing some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”
The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR, and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-Check. Cabin defects can also be rectified within a short turnaround time which allows for the production of the required cabin parts during line maintenance.