Aviation’s 3D Printing Revolution: Stratasys & AM Craft Forge Path

Synopsis: Stratasys and AM Craft have partnered to expand the use of flight-certified 3D printed parts in aviation. This collaboration aims to meet industry demand by leveraging additive manufacturing for efficient production and certification of crucial components.
Thursday, June 27, 2024
Source : ContentFactory

Stratasys, a leader in additive manufacturing, and aviation manufacturing pioneer AM Craft have entered a commercial collaboration to enhance the demand and production of flight-certified 3D printed parts in the aviation industry. This partnership, marked by Stratasys’ strategic investment in AM Craft, signifies a pivotal step in addressing the industry's needs for reliable and efficient component manufacturing.

AM Craft, holding an EASA Part 21G Production Organization Approval, plays a crucial role in overcoming the barriers to broader adoption of 3D printed parts in aviation. They deliver airworthiness-certified parts to airlines, maintenance, repair, and overhaul organizations, and original equipment manufacturers. This approval ensures that parts produced meet stringent aviation standards, which is essential for maintaining safety and reliability in the industry.

The aviation aftermarket, characterized by low volume and high mix, poses significant challenges in supplying even the smallest parts necessary to keep global fleets operational. Stratasys' Senior Vice President, Jeff Hemenway, emphasized that additive manufacturing addresses these challenges by producing parts cost-effectively at the necessary rates and volumes. AM Craft’s EASA-approved certification process alleviates the certification burden from end customers, streamlining the supply chain.

As part of the partnership, Hemenway will join the AM Craft board of directors, strengthening the collaboration between the two companies. Didzis Dejus, CEO of AM Craft, noted that this alignment with Stratasys will enhance customer confidence in their ability to supply essential parts. Stratasys’ leadership in additive manufacturing is seen as a perfect complement to AM Craft’s capabilities, further driving the adoption of 3D printing in the aviation sector.

AM Craft currently produces aviation components in Europe and has extended its Production Organization Approval to Paradigm 3D, a partner company in Dubai, UAE. Stratasys, through its subsidiary Additive Flight Solutions in Singapore, is also engaged in certified aviation parts manufacturing. Under this partnership, AM Craft will own and operate AFS, expanding its production network to Southeast Asia and adding a facility in Hamburg later this year.

The combined network, operating 13 printers under EASA 21G approval, has produced more than 28,000 flight parts to date. A future goal of the partnership is to evaluate collaboration with US-based Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, leveraging their substantial equipment base to further streamline production and distribution.

Scott Sevcik, AM Craft's Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, highlighted that aviation's global nature makes localization of production a significant advantage. By aligning with Stratasys and Additive Flight Solutions, AM Craft can better meet customer needs in major MRO hubs. Additionally, they aim to expand their catalog of parts, accelerating future growth by collaborating with other major aviation suppliers and distributors.

Both Stratasys and AM Craft are committed to further developing their collaboration, pushing the boundaries of additive manufacturing in the aviation industry. This partnership is poised to enhance the efficiency, reliability, and reach of 3D printed aviation parts, marking a significant advancement in the industry's evolution.