Additive Flight Solutions (AFS), a joint venture between 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys and Singaporian aircraft specialist SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC), has received AS9100D Certification.
Combining Stratasys’ additive manufacturing knowledge with SIAEC’s expertise in spare parts, AFS has gained international accreditation for its 3D printed aerospace parts. The certification is a standardized quality management and assurance system governing the aviation, space and defense industry sectors. Gaining AS9100D validation testifies that AFS provides products and services that are able to meet customer needs, while complying with all applicable regulatory and statutory requirements.
“From individual part weight reduction to a more comfortable layout and design, the future of aircraft interiors is set to take off in innovative ways,” said Stefan Roeding, DGM at Additive Flight Solutions. “This certification validates our commitment to drive the development of aerospace applications and deliver reliable and precisely engineered solutions. It gives us immense pride in attaining this globally recognized mark of excellence.”
“Apart from being a competitive advantage, achieving the AS9100D is a significant milestone for AFS and our parent companies.”
Stratasys 3D printing in the aerospace industry
Having been founded in 1989, Stratasys’ 3D printing technology is well-established in the industry, and its systems have been utilized in applications ranging from producing spare rail parts to medical models. A number of companies have also adopted Stratasys machines in order to streamline their aerospace operations, reducing the size and weight of components as well as the associated lead times.
UK-based global engineering firm GKN Aerospace for instance, leveraged a Stratasys F900 3D printer to reduce its production times and develop new tooling applications. Similarly, aerospace specialist IDEC and prototyping service provider Wehl & Partner have used a Stratasys 3D printer to cut the cost and material waste involved with composite molding.
Stratasys has also collaborated with aerospace industry partners, in order to develop new applications of its systems. Working with metal additive 3D printing company VELO3D for example, Stratasys has utilized its F370 and Fortus 450mc machines to support the development of Boom Supersonic’s demonstrator XB-1 aircraft. Under a seven year contract extension, the companies aim to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing for flight hardware by utilizing Stratasys’ Aircraft Interiors Solution (AIS) package.
More recently, the company has continued to explore the applications of its technology within aviation by supporting BAE Systems’ ‘Factory of the Future’ initiative. Having installed a fourth F900 3D printer, BAE Systems will reportedly be running the machines “around the clock” to drive efficiency in its production. In its current collaboration with SIAEC, Stratasys is now seeking to advance the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) applications of its 3D printers.
SIAEC provides extensive MRO services to more than 80 international airlines carriers, making it an ideal partner for Stratasys in the joint AFS venture. AFS was set up to provide design, engineering, certification support and part production for SIAEC’s well-established network of partners and customers. In addition to component production services, the company also offers rapid prototyping and manufacturing aids to its aerospace clients.
Utilizing the expertise of its parent companies’, the business has now gained AS9100D certification from the global aerospace supply chain regulator International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). Leveraging the newly-gained accreditation, the company aims to accelerate the adoption of 3D printed parts in the commercial and military aviation industries, in addition to other industrial applications.
Acting as SIAEC’s approved 3D printing center, AFS supplies industry grade parts and services used in interior airplane cabins to local and global manufacturers. The 3D printed components are mainly used as replacements within the interior cabin environment. For instance, AFS has recently developed and produced a number of sanitizer holders for a local Singaporian airline.
Following validation by the IAQG, manufacturers will be able to partner with AFS in full confidence that its parts have met stringent requirements across a range of industry applications. Moving forwards, the company will continue to use Stratasys’ 3D printing technology to reduce the weight of its components, and design more comfortable layouts for its aerospace customers.
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Featured image shows a 3D printed spare part produced by AFS for one of its aerospace clients. Photo via AFS.