The Dubai Airshow has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of the aerospace and defence industry, and will continue to showcase game changing technology with the announcement of the addition of the 3D Printshow to the Dubai Airshow in 2015.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is emerging as an important tool for aerospace manufacturers with global companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce among those citing the importance of industrial 3D printing technologies both within their supply chains and for final manufacturing of components. With some qualified non-critical 3D printed parts already flying on aircraft, the weight saving benefits that translate to financial efficiencies are only starting to make an impact.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers called 3D printing “a potential game changer for aerospace and defence” and advises that all aerospace manufacturers should be tracking developments in the 3D printing field, adding that those companies that manufacture parts should be experimenting with 3D printing technologies.
Disruptivemagazine.com reported that Stratasys recently 3D printed more than 1000 In-flight parts for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and GeekWire states that there are over 20,000 parts 3D printed out of plastics currently being used on Boeing aircraft, quoting spokesman Nathan Hulings that “The F/A-18 Super Hornet has approximately 150 parts in the forward fuselage area that have been produced through selective laser sintering.”
Indeed, Steve Betza, corporate director of hardware engineering and advanced manufacturing at Lockheed Martin said “We are aggressively deploying additive manufacturing … across all of our business areas. We do see great innovation with purpose and an entire family of applications.” Lockheed is also considering using printed parts on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, he added.
“It seemed a natural fit to partner with 3D Printshow,” said Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of organisers F&E Aerospace. “We are proud of the Dubai Airshow being at the forefront of the industry, and 3D printing will most certainly be a game changer in the aerospace and defence supply chain. With the key players taking such a keen interest it seemed only logical to bring these two industries together”.
3D Printshow Dubai will take place in dedicated pavilion within the Dubai Airshow from 8-12 November 2015, with exhibitors such as Stratasys, Ultimaker, BigRep and D2M demonstrating their technologies in the hall alongside over 1100 other exhibitors expected by the organisers.