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Collins Aerospace breaks ground on $14 million Iowa AM center expansion

Making room for a new NXG XII 600 system and more material validation activities

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After opening a large new additive manufacturing facility in Monroe, North Carolina last month, Collins Aerospace, (part of a giant group of defense and aerospace companies with Raytheon and Pratt & Whitney) continues its strategy to scale adoption of AM as it broke ground on a $14 million expansion of its additive manufacturing center in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The 9,000-square-foot expansion will allow Collins to make room for more 3D metal printers, in addition to the already onsite. The first new printer, the giant NXG XII 600 12-laser system from SLM Soutions, will have eight times the build volume of the existing printers and Collins expects it to be fully operational in late 2023.

Collins’ 41,000-square-foot West Des Moines facility is a world leader in the design and production of fuel nozzles for commercial and military aircraft. The company will use the new machines to enhance current production capabilities and expand the portfolio of metals it can use to additively produce engine components at the site.

Collins Aerospace breaks ground on $14 million Iowa AM center expansion, making room for a new NXG XII 600 system

“With this expansion, we will significantly increase our additive manufacturing capacity and enhance our ability to produce more parts faster for our airframe and engine customers,” said Renee Begley, West Des Moines site lead for Collins Aerospace. “Compared to traditional manufacturing, additive offers several key benefits as the optimized designs not only reduce cost but can also reduce delivery lead times dramatically. Additive also allows us to produce parts that are much lighter, enabling reduced aircraft fuel consumption and reduced carbon emissions—a key to more sustainable flight.”

West Des Moines Mayor Russ Trimble noted that Collins has maintained a presence in West Des Moines in one form or another for 70 years. “It’s wonderful to see them reaffirm their commitment to their West Des Moines operation in such an innovative way,” he said.

Collins Aerospace breaks ground on $14 million Iowa AM center expansion, making room for a new NXG XII 600 system
in case you were wondering those are 3D printed too

Additive manufacturing is a critical focus area for Collins. In June, the company opened the new additive manufacturing center at its campus in Monroe, N.C. To support the next generation of aircraft with state-of-the-art systems, Collins maintains a global network of additive production centers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Singapore, and an additive research center in Connecticut.

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VoxelMatters is the online trade media portal published by 3dpbm, a leading marketing and market research firm specializing in the AM industry. 3dpbm also publishes the 3D Printing Business Directory, the AM Focus eBook series and the 3dpbm Research AM Market Reports. 3D Printing Media Network was founded with the goal to provide the latest industry news, insights and opinions to a global audience of professionals and decision makers.

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