German conglomerate Siemens AG, Abu Dhabi-based Strata Manufacturing, and Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways announced they will work together to develop the first 3D-printed parts for aircraft interiors in the Middle East and North Africa.
A joint statement from the three companies, the partnership aims to leverage additive manufacturing, known as 3D printing, to help airlines improve their designs, and will include making complex parts on demand and manufacturing discontinued parts.
Under the partnership, a pilot project will develop 3D printing solutions for aircraft cabin interior products for Etihad.
Siemens will consult on the selection of materials, testing, and the preparation of processes. The design team of Etihad Airways Engineering will work to certify the parts, and Strata will manufacture the parts in its factory.
Following the pilot project, Siemens and Strata expect to look into the development of a three-year joint road map for the further industrialisation of 3D printing in the UAE. The road map will include training and the development of UAE citizens with the required skills for further deployment of 3D printing technology.
Etihad said it sees huge potential for 3D printing technology in aviation over conventional manufacturing methods, enabling faster on-demand production of complex parts and discontinued parts.