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Thu 14 Nov 2019 03:15 PM

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Etihad unit opens first 3D manufacturing factory

Etihad Engineering collaborates with EOS and BigRep to open facility with approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency

Etihad unit opens first 3D manufacturing factory

The laboratory, located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, features two approved industrial 3D printers.

Etihad Engineering, a division of Etihad Aviation Group, has collaborated with EOS and BigRep, to open the region’s first 3D manufacturing facility with approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The laboratory, located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, features two approved industrial 3D printers.

Etihad Engineering, together with its partner EOS, received one of the first approvals from EASA for 3D printing using powder-bed fusion technology which will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.

Bernhard Randerath, VP Design, Engineering and Innovation, Etihad Engineering, said: “The launch of the new facility is in line with Etihad Engineering’s position as a leading global player in aircraft engineering as well as a pioneer in innovation and technology. We are extremely proud to collaborate with EOS and BigRep to expand our capability and support the UAE’s strategy to increase production technology and cement its position as a global aerospace hub.”

The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials 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.

The BigRep ONE, one of the largest, serial-built industrial thermoplastic extrusion 3D printers, is designed for manufacturing large parts, jigs and fixtures as well as moulds – on site and on demand.

Etihad Engineering first received EASA approval to 3D print with filament technology in 2017 and was the first airline MRO in the world to certify, print and fly 3D printed cabin parts. The latest approval, received in October covers powder bed fusion 3D printing technology.

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