Complex Made Simple

3D printing to feature at Dubai Airshow

Game changing technology to be on display in November.

The Dubai Airshow has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of the aerospace industry, and will continue to showcase game changing technology with the announcement of the addition of the 3D Printshow to the Dubai Airshow in 2015.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is emerging as an important tool for aerospace manufacturers with global companies such as Airbus, Rolls Royce and Boeing, among others, citing the importance of industrial 3D printing technologies both within their supply chains and for final manufacturing of components. With some qualified non-critical 3D printed parts already flying on aircraft, the weight saving benefits that translate to financial efficiencies are only starting to make an impact.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers called 3D printing “A potential game changer for aerospace and defence” and advises that all aerospace manufacturers should be tracking developments in the 3D printing field, adding that those companies that manufacture parts should be experimenting with 3D printing technologies.

Indeed, the aerospace industry is adopting 3D print technology “at a very fast rate” according to Hugh Evans, vice president of corporate development and ventures for 3D Systems, “because you can 3D print aircraft engine parts and take weight out.”

Disruptivemagazine.com reported that Stratasys recently 3D printed more than 1000 In-flight parts for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and GeekWire estimates that there are over 20,000 parts 3D printed out of plastics currently being used on Boeing aircraft. Perhaps as importantly, General Electric has announced that its Leap jet engine will incorporate a fuel nozzle produced entirely though additive manufacturing, and is currently completing testing of the new Leap engine models.

“It seemed a natural fit to partner with 3D Printshow,” said Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of organisers F&E Aerospace. “We are proud of the Dubai Airshow being at the forefront of the industry, and 3D printing will most certainly be a game changer in aerospace and its supply chain. With the aerospace industry taking such a keen interest it seemed only logical to bring these two industries together”.

3D Printshow Dubai will take place in dedicated pavilion within the Dubai Airshow from 8-12 November 2015, with exhibitors such as Stratasys, Ultimaker, BigRep and D2M demonstrating their technologies in the hall alongside over 1100 other exhibitors expected by the organisers.