Boeing, Oerlikon partner to standardize 3-D printing process

CHICAGO. Switzerland company, Oerlikon and Boeing entered into a five-year collaboration agreement to develop standard materials and processes for metal-based additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing. The program aims to standardize and speed up the adoption of 3-D printing for aerospace applications.

“This agreement is an important step toward fully unlocking the value of powder bed titanium for the aerospace industry,” says Leo Christodoulou, Chief Technologist for Boeing Additive Manufacturing. “Boeing and Oerlikon will work together to standardize additive manufacturing operations from powder management to finished product and thus enable the development of a wide range of safe, reliable, and cost-effective structural titanium aerospace components.”

Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO Oerlikon Group says, “This program will drive the faster adoption of additive manufacturing in the rapidly growing aerospace, space and defense markets. Working together with Boeing will define the path in producing airworthy additive manufacturing components for serial manufacturing. We see collaboration as a key enabler to unlocking the value that additive manufacturing can bring to aircraft platforms and look forward to partnering with Boeing.”

Boeing and Oerlikon will use the data from this collaboration to support the qualification of additive manufacturing suppliers to produce metallic components using a variety of machines and materials. The research will initially focus on industrializing titanium powder bed fusion additive manufacturing and ensuring parts made with this process meet the flight requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense. The strong collaboration between Boeing and Oerlikon will enable the companies to meet the current challenges to qualify materials and processes for aerospace and provide a route for the adoption of additive manufacturing with a qualified supply chain that achieves quality and cost targets.

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