GKN Aerospace and Materialise have signed up to collaborate with each other in order to accelerate the certification needed for additive manufacturing in aviation.
Speaking at Paris Airshow, GKN Aerospace, the tier 1 aerospace tech provider, and Materialise, 3D printing solutions and services provider, have announced their intent to collaborate on advancing the R&D and production of polymer 3D printed parts for the aviation industry.
The pair had had previous success: Materialise has been a supplier of polymer 3D printed parts to GKN Aerospace since 2015 and has supported the delivery of the additively manufactured wingtip for Eviation’s Alice, the world’s largest all-electric aircraft, which made its maiden flight in 2022 [main image]. Additionally, the working together has enabled significant AM milestones, including the successful delivery and certification of multiple AM parts that are flying today.
Now, GKN Aerospace and Materialise aim to accelerate the certification of the AM process and push the boundaries of additive production of functional and flight-critical aerostructures, leveraging the unique manufacturing benefits.
The pair say that collaboration will range from prototyping to the production of functional and flight-critical parts, aligning with the industry’s emerging sustainability trends and opportunities. In particular, the partnership will focus on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
“This powerful alliance aims to leverage our combined expertise and the exceptional benefits of 3D printing to push the boundaries of innovation in the aeronautics industry,” said VP Materialise Manufacturing Jurgen Laudus. “Together, we aim to drive technological advancements, respond more effectively to customer requirements, and shape the future of aerospace manufacturing.”
Russ Brigham, Programme Director at GKN Aerospace said: “Materialise is a valued AM supplier for GKN Aerospace, and partnering with them on this ground-breaking technology has been a success for both companies. AM is out there and flying on aircraft around the world today and will be critical to achieve a more sustainable future of flight ahead.”