Marshall Aerospace utilising 3D printing from Stratasys

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood June 7, 2019 11:00

Marshall Aerospace utilising 3D printing from Stratasys

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is now using advanced 3D printing from Stratasys to manufacture, flight-ready parts for several of its military, civil and business aircraft.

The aerospace specialists will also produce specific ground-running equipment at a lower cost than aluminium alternatives.

Marshall already has pieces of 3D-printed ductwork flying on heavily modified aircraft, as well as holders for safety knives and switches for aircraft interiors. 3D printing flight-approved parts on demand enables the company to produce lighter parts than traditional methods, significantly faster and at lower cost.

Chris Botting, materials, processes and additive manufacturing engineer at Marshall said: “When manufacturing on complex engineering programs, we need a method that can create an accurate, complex, functional and lightweight duct efficiently with minimal tooling costs – this is where 3D printing fits perfectly. But we also need to ensure that the ducting work produced will be approved by the EASA for flight.

“As a result, we’re using the Stratasys Fortus 450mc FDM Printer and ULTEM 9085 resin – a tough, yet lightweight 3D printing material with high thermal and chemical resistance. This has been crucial to overcoming the stringent requirements of our industry, as we can now 3D print parts with the desired flame, smoke and toxicity properties for use on aircraft interiors.”

The company is also utilising its Fortus 450mc 3D printer, purchased from Stratasys UK and Ireland Platinum Partner SYS Systems, to build final parts on the ground. Marshall recently created a ducting adapter prototype for vital ground-running equipment – essential for providing fresh air to cool the aircraft’s avionics. 3D printing this particular part helped Marshall transition from typically costly aluminum processes.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood June 7, 2019 11:00