Mid June saw Stratasys announce extending its partnership with Boom Supersonic for a further seven years.
The Colorado-based company Boom Supersonic is said to be building history’s fastest supersonic airliner. It signed a seven-year agreement extension with Stratasys and both companies are accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing for 3D-printed flight hardware further, expanding 3D printing beyound rapid prototyping.
Boom utilises the Stratasys F900 3D Printer with the Aircraft Interiors Solution (AIS) package to create hundreds of 3D printed parts for XB-1, the company’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft. The AIS package is aimed to help improve mechanical properties and enables repeatable development of aircraft production parts.
“By being able to print critical parts and components on site rather than purchasing them from a supplier, we can create custom parts, increase our speed from engineering to manufacturing,” said Mike Jagemann, Head of XB-1 Production at Boom.“ He added that the company had 3D printed over 200 parts for tooling, prototypes and test benches on the Stratasys F370 and Fortus 450mc 3D printers over the first three years of its partnership, which saved hundreds of work-time hours.
A global leader in 3D printed aerospace applications, Stratasys makes an ideal partner for Boom and the new agreement is to integrate FDM 3D printing technology into flight part production for XB-1 and eventually for Overture, the revolutionary Mach-2.2 commercial airliner, the company noted. The AIS package provides a faster, more streamlined approach to qualify additively manufactured parts for aircraft installation, making it instrumental to the aircraft that is expected to fly over twice the speed of sound, exceeding 1,500 miles/h (2,400 km/h), according to Stratasys.
“The team at Boom is doing something that’s never been achieved – successful mainstream supersonic airline travel. But development of aircraft that can safely and efficiently travel at Mach 2.2 requires a new approach to manufacturing processes,” said Rich Garrity, President Americas, Stratasys.
The F900 3D Printer has the highest repeatability and the largest build size of any FDM system, which is ideally suited to handle complex production manufacturing needs, utilising a wide range of thermoplastics with advanced mechanical properties for parts that can endure extreme heat, caustic chemicals and high-impact applications. The AIS package offers aerospace manufacturers the documentation and training necessary to guide the complex qualification process. The end result is flight-ready parts based on additive manufacturing, Stratasys explained.
The XB-1 is expected to be rolled out later this year and flown supersonically in 2020. Overture is in the development stage with consumer travel expected to commence mid-2020.