The partnership, agreed at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, will enable Etihad Airways Engineering to produce aircraft parts at its facility in Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the race were able to view a full-scale 3D-printed front wing of a Formula 1 car and speak to 3D-printing experts.

Image: L-R - Bernhard Randerath, vice president design, engineering and innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering, with Markus Glasser, senior vice president export region at EOS

The initial phase of this collaboration, which uses EOS technology with an EOS system for additive manufacturing (AM), will include the qualification of machine, process and materials in accordance with aviation regulatory requirements.

Following a structured selection process, suitable cabin interior parts will be produced through the AM process, which offers a substantial value-add, in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation options, particularly during aircraft modifications.

Bernhard Randerath, vice president design, engineering and innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering said: “Etihad constantly invests in new technology and has identified additive manufacturing as a key technology for aviation interior parts, as well as applications beyond aerospace in the future.

“The technology is a key enabler, when it comes to design and innovation in our industry. Etihad is proud to work towards a vision of a 3D-printed cabin interior.”

Markus Glasser, senior vice president export region at EOS adds: “Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions. As such, we share the same mindset, as both of our companies are committed to high quality solutions and constant technology innovation. We are honoured to support our partner on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.”

After the initial steps have been completed, Etihad Airways Engineering will certify the AM process, further develop additive manufacturing capabilities based on this technology and jointly with EOS develop, test and qualify new polymer materials. In the long term, Etihad plans to roll-out AM among its customers and within the company’s broader ecosystem.