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Stratasys and AM Craft partner to push polymer AM in aviation

The two companies will focus on on flight-certified 3D printed parts via a strategic investment

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Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) and aviation manufacturing pioneer AM Craft are partnering to align the two companies’ efforts to grow the demand for flight-certified 3D printed parts in the aviation industry. The companies signed a definitive commercial collaboration agreement, along with Stratasys’ strategic investment in AM Craft.

Holding an EASA Part 21G Production Organization Approval, AM Craft solves a key barrier to the broader adoption of 3D printed parts in the aviation industry by delivering airworthiness-certified parts to airlines, MROs, and OEMs. Additive manufacturing has strong appeal as a supply chain solution in these markets due to the long sustainment life of aircraft and the resulting challenges in forecasting and stocking replacement parts.

Stratasys and AM Craft partner to push polymer AM in aviation focusing on on flight-certified 3D printed parts via a strategic investment“The low volume, high mix nature of the aviation aftermarket has resulted in extreme challenges to supply even the most minor of parts necessary to keep global fleets flying,” said Stratasys Senior Vice President Jeff Hemenway. “Additive manufacturing addresses those challenges by cost-effectively producing at the rates and volumes required. AM Craft’s EASA-approved approach to certification takes this burden off the end customer.”

To facilitate the partnership with Stratasys, Hemenway is joining the AM Craft board of directors.

Didzis Dejus, CEO of AM Craft, added, “Aligning with Stratasys will further strengthen the confidence of our customers that we can supply them with needed parts. Given Stratasys’ leadership in additive manufacturing, we will continue to drive the adoption of 3D printing in the airline and MRO industries. Their technology is an ideal fit for aviation.”

AM Craft currently produces aviation components in Europe and has demonstrated the ability to extend their Production Organization Approval to Paradigm 3D, a partner company in Dubai, UAE.  Stratasys currently engages in certified aviation parts manufacturing through subsidiary Additive Flight Solutions (AFS) in Singapore. In structuring this partnership, AM Craft will own and operate AFS, further extending AM Craft’s production network to Southeast Asia, and add a Hamburg facility later this year.

The combined network operates 13 printers under EASA 21G approval, which have produced more than 28,000 flight parts to date. A future step within the partnership will be to evaluate collaboration with US-based Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, and their substantial install base of similar equipment.

“Aviation is a global industry, and our customers see localization of production as a major advantage that AM Craft can offer. By aligning with Stratasys and Additive Flight Solutions, we are better able to meet our customers’ needs to be in more major MRO hubs,” said Scott Sevcik, AM Craft VP of Strategy and Business Development. “In addition to being where our customers need us to be, it’s also critical that we continue to build the catalog of parts. We believe that this collaboration with Stratasys, as well as other major aviation suppliers and distributers, will help us to accelerate our future growth.”

Stratasys and AM Craft both look forward to further developing additional aspects of their collaboration to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing within the aviation industry.

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