Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Stratasys wins contract extension with Airbus
Israel — Airbus has awarded Stratasys a contract extension for the production of 3D-printed polymer parts. The parts, which are produced using the FDM process, will be used in the cabin interiors of several types of aircraft.
Whereas the original contract focused on the production of parts for the A350, the contract extension expands the offering to include 3D printed parts for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) as well as parts for the A300, A330, A340 and A320 aircraft types. The expansion for the A320 models in particular should please Stratasys: with more than 15,000 orders, the A320 family is the most sold commercial aircraft type and even more popular than Boeing's 737 family. The European aircraft manufacturer will continue to rely on the A320 series in the future, and with the A320 Neo has been able to extend its lead over its direct competitor, Boeing's 737 Max, in recent years. The 737 Max also suffered from a temporary flight ban, which was imposed almost worldwide after two crashes due to identical malfunctions.
Stratasys' industrial FDM printers and materials are said to offer the performance and manufacturing repeatability demanded by aerospace, commercial aviation and military customers. The aerospace industry is expected to increasingly turn to additive manufacturing to produce strong yet lightweight components and functionally integrated assemblies. According to Stratasys, digital inventory of 3D printed spare parts can make MRO operations more agile and cost-effective.