The Middle East is getting into 3D printing. Etihad Engineering has received European Union Aviation Safety Agency approval for its newly opened additive manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi.
The maintenance house of the UAE flag-carrier says it is the "first airline MRO" to obtain EASA approval to design, produce and certificate 3D-printed cabin parts in parternship with technology providers EOS and BigRep.
The laboratory, at the Etihad Engineering site at Abu Dhabi International airport, features two industrial printers, one from EOS and the other from BigRep, that use powder-bed fusion technology. Etihad Engineering says it enables faster production and reduced weight of cabin parts.
The EOS system produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR, and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-check. The machine operates with a total build volume of 340 x 340 x 600mm (13 x 13 x 60in).