Boeing qualifies Stratasys material for 3D-printed flight parts

29th October 2020

Aerospace giant Boeing has further cemented its reputation as a leading exponent of additive manufacturing by certifying a Stratasys material for flight-ready parts.

The company has qualified the Antero 800NA PEKK-based thermoplastic to its repertoire of 3D-printing capabilities. This means the high-temperature material can now be used on components in its planes.
The announcement came following an extensive performance evaluation of the material, which boasts anti-fatigue properties and low outgassing characteristics.

Aerospace-certified

It is the first material from Stratasys qualified by Boeing for use in applications with elevated chemical resistance, or fatigue requirements.

Close up of FDM 3D printed part using Antero filament

Tremendous benefits

Stratasys Aerospace Vice President Scott Sevcik said: “Boeing has recognised the tremendous utility of Antero to meet applications that couldn’t have been 3D-printed before.

“Additive manufacturing has tremendous benefits for simplifying aerospace supply chains both in original equipment and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), but robust materials for meeting challenging flight requirements have been needed.”

Additive manufacturing technology is incredibly well suited to the demands of the aerospace sector. It helps manufacturers to reduce both costly design challenges and downtime. Along with this, 3D printing enables manufactureres to innovate faster, test more thoroughly and produce customised parts.

In an industry constantly pushing the boundaries to reduce weight and increase vehicle performance, 3D printing accomplishes its goals. Advanced materials offer huge cost and weight savings in comparison to traditionally manufactured parts, without any compromise on strength and durability.

As aerospace component production is a low-quantity, high-value operation, there is less mass-production benefit in tooling. Experts therefore predict that the concept of stocking years of expensive spares going out of production will soon become a thing of the past. In the future companies will simply 3D print them on demand.

3D printed aerospace part using Antero filament

The Antero family of materials includes 800NA as well as Antero 840CN03, which is an electrostatic dissipative (ESD) variant. Both are available on the Stratasys F900 and Fortus 450mc 3D printers.

SYS Systems hosts both of these machines on site at its state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Centre near Derby. SYS offers 3D-printing bureau services to companies requiring support in printing their parts.

'Additive manufacturing has tremendous benefits for simplifying aerospace supply chains'

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