The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Siemens Digital Industries Software to develop aerospace design applications for metal additive manufacturing (AM) as part of the Design4AM project. During the two-year collaboration, Siemens and Sonaca aim to validate a process for using Siemens’ comprehensive AM software to design and produce optimized, lightweight structural parts for space applications.

“AM can help ESA reshape everything for optimal performance at reduced cost, in comparison to traditional manufacturing methods that require multiple steps, tools, and treatments to achieve the desired outcome,” says Didier Granville, RTD projects manager, Siemens. “Working with Sonaca, we will be able to help ESA take advantage of AM to deliver high-performance structures capable of withstanding the extreme forces that occur during space satellite launches.”

Stratasys extends partnership with Boom Supersonic

With an extended 7-year partnership, Boom Supersonic is using the Stratasys F900 3D printer with the Aircraft Interiors Solution (AIS) package to create 3D-printed parts for XB-1, the company’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft, and eventually for its Overture Mach-2.2 commercial airliner. The AIS package improves mechanical properties, enables repeatable development of aircraft production parts, and provides a faster, more streamlined approach to qualify parts for aircraft installation.

“Working together, our teams have put the technology to work for efficient, reliable and repeatable prototypes, tooling, and jigs and fixtures,” says Stratasys President Americas Rich Garrity. “Now, we’re ready to go further – for strong, durable, lightweight production-grade aircraft parts.”

The Stratasys F900 3D printer can handle complex production manufacturing needs, using a wide range of thermoplastics to produce parts that can endure extreme heat, caustic chemicals, and high-impact applications.

XB-1 is expected to roll out later this year and fly supersonically in 2020. Overture is in development with consumer travel expected in the mid-2020s.

Oerlikon, MT Aerospace partner for AM solutions

Oerlikon AM and MT Aerospace are working to accelerate the use of additive parts in the aerospace and defense industries, bringing efficiency and cost savings by providing end-to-end additive manufacturing (AM) solutions to customers.

In addition to MT Aerospace’s ability to design highly stressed and lightweight metal structures and Oerlikon’s materials, design, 3D-printing, and post-processing capabilities, the partnership offers aerospace customers a notable advantage by realizing synergies between construction/design, manufacturing, and part inspection and qualification.

“With their bundled expertise, the two partner companies cover the entire value chain from component design and manufacturing to testing and qualification,” says Hans J. Steininger, CEO of MT Aerospace. “We can offer customers a one-stop shop solution from product specification to the finished, qualified part.”

GKN Aerospace expands Pratt & Whitney contract

GKN Aerospace has expanded its risk and revenue sharing partnership (RRSP) with Pratt & Whitney for the PW1500G and PW1900G engines, adding the fabricated fan case mount ring and fan spacer to its workshare. These systems will feature GKN Aerospace additive manufacturing (AM) and composite technologies and reinforce the company’s role as a long-term supplier of Pratt & Whitney engine components.

The original RRSP agreement for the PW1900G engine (used Embraer’s E190-E2 aircraft) and the PW1500G engine (used Airbus’ A220 aircraft) represents a share in the engine program. GKN Aerospace is responsible for the design and manufacture of the turbine exhaust case and intermediate compressor case, along with the manufacture of the engine’s low-pressure turbine shaft.

GKN Aerospace also has component RRSPs with Pratt & Whitney for the PW1100G-JM engine (used in Airbus’ A320neo family aircraft) and the PW1200G engine (used in Mitsubishi’s Regional Jet aircraft).