Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsAviation

Materialise signs LOI to 3D print cabin solutions for aircraft

In partnership with Proponent, the largest independent aerospace distributor, and Stirling Dynamics, an EASA 21.J-certified Aerospace Design Organization

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Materialise, a pioneer in 3D printing solutions and services, Proponent, the largest independent aerospace distributor, and Stirling Dynamics, an EASA 21.J-certified Aerospace Design Organization, have signed a letter of intent (LOI) aimed at providing certified cabin solutions for aircraft.

Stirling Dynamics, an Expleo company, is strengthening an existing partnership between Materialise and Proponent that was formed in 2021. By combining their unique forces, the three companies can support the aerospace aftermarket with the design, production, and distribution of certified 3D printed cabin solutions. As an aerospace-approved Design Organization (DOA), Stirling Dynamics develops improved, certified designs for 3D printed interior cabin parts and provides complete aircraft documentation and installation instructions.

By adding an EASA Part 21.J DOA to the partnership, the companies create a unique trifecta – bringing together the ability to identify AM applications and design them by a certified DOA, with certified production by Materialise as a 21.G POA, and then distribute them through Proponent as the largest independent distributor. This will serve to further lower hurdles for OEMs and aircraft operators in the integration of such solutions.

“We are really excited to be partnering with Materialise and Proponent to collectively bring the aviation market a true end-to-end service for aircraft modification and repairs. As an EASA-approved Part 21.J Design Organization (EASA.21J.807), we are passionate about innovation, and we look forward to applying our extensive design capabilities to meet the unique challenges of aviation customers,” said Bandula Pathinayake, VP of Stirling Dynamics.

Materialise signs LOI to 3D print cabin solutions for aircraft in partnership with Proponent and Stirling Dynamics.

Together, Materialise, Proponent, and Stirling Dynamics aim to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing for cabin parts. Through the identification and design of smart 3D printed solutions for OEMs, airlines, and MROs, this partnership seeks to give airline customers the possibility to easily leverage the unique manufacturing benefits 3D printing offers.

“By combining our respective expertise, we are creating a powerful alliance with the skills needed to lower AM adoption barriers in the aeronautics industry,” said Jurgen Laudus, Vice President of Materialise Manufacturing. “We present the opportunity to design, produce, and distribute certified 3D printed solutions, supporting the aerospace aftermarket in leveraging the exceptional benefits of 3D printing.”

Already, several cabin repair solutions have been successfully developed between Stirling Dynamics and Materialise – solving specific issues the customers face in their cabins. Proponent can leverage their OEM relationships to develop OEM-endorsed and certified solutions, making them available to operators worldwide that face similar issues.

“With Stirling Dynamics joining our partnership, we can offer our OEM partners qualified solutions that can easily be incorporated into their aftermarket supply chain. Through this partnership, OEMs can deliver spare parts and repairs in an extremely cost-effective way, ultimately benefiting the airlines and MROs,” said Erik Krol, Proponent Vice President of Strategic Business Units.

The potential of 3D printing to revolutionize the aeronautics industry is significant. This digital manufacturing technology enables design optimizations, functional improvements, and the creation of lighter and stronger parts that were previously unachievable with conventional manufacturing techniques. In addition to these advantages, 3D printing offers remarkable time and cost reductions – further enhancing its appeal for aerospace applications.

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746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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