Etihad explores the possibilities of 3D printing
Working closely with Strata and Siemens, the airline revealed the region’s first 3D-printed aircraft interior part
Etihad Airways Engineering recently unveiled the result of a landmark pilot project, conducted in close collaboration with Siemens and Strata, which saw the unveiling of MENA's first 3D-printed aircraft interior part.
The part created as part of the project is the plastic frame, which surrounds media screens on Etihad Airways aircraft. Created via additive manufacturing technology, commonly known as 3D printing, Etihad Airways will now be able to significantly cut production time, while also removing the need for shipping and storing inventory locally.
Jeff Wilkinson, CEO, Etihad Airways Engineering, said: "This project showcases our joint capabilities in the UAE to design, certify and manufacture parts using the latest technologies. Its importance cannot be understated, as 3D printing enables high flexibility during design and prototyping and short lead times during production. It opens new possibilities to the industry and inspires our talented engineers to make their ideas become reality."
During the course of the project, Siemens committed its global expertise in industrial 3D printing to consult on the selection of materials, as well as the testing and manufacturing process. Meanwhile, Etihad Airways Engineering was responsible for the part's design and certification, while Strata manufactured the part in its Al Ain facility with support from VPS and D2M.
The entirety of the project was approved by the GCAA, the UAE aviation authority.
Badr Al-Olama, CEO of Strata and head of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Committee, said: "We're extremely proud to announce the successful completion of our pilot project - this is a key step towards our goal of deploying 3D printing technology on live applications."
"This technology has the potential to revolutionize the aerospace industry through innovation, while also developing local knowledge and skills."