AM for aircraft interiors


Etihad Engineering is working with EOS and Baltic3D on a research project to develop SLS industrial laser printing technology for the series production of aircraft interior parts.

Etihad Engineering is the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East and is one of the largest industrial 3D printing centres in Northern Europe.

Technology provider EOS has had its processes and materials qualified for aerospace applications and is a key competence provider to Baltic3D.

Etihad Engineering has already implemented additive manufacturing (AM) technologies in aerospace applications and will be supporting the joint R&D efforts by conducting flammability testing at its onsite Flammability Laboratory, and providing its engineering analysis and reports, as feedback on the designs and prototypes produced within the project.

Within the R&D project Baltic3D will print over 2,000 material coupons in SLS technology, using the EOS P 396 machine. These material samples will be tested at the Etihad Engineering Flammability Laboratory in Abu Dhabi, in accordance with aviation standards, including FST, heat release tests. It will be followed by creating several prototypes for aircraft interior part designs using LS technology.

Janis Jātnieks, co-founder and Board member of Baltic3D says “From part design to the end part manufacturing and certification, the aviation supply chain is heavily hit by COVID-19. With this R&D project we aim to significantly reduce time and money for Design organizations and OEMs have to invest to add additive manufacturing as additional manufacturing route to existing production or even to completely switch to complex parts production using AM. Our plan is to establish a comprehensive test and manufacturing data set that would help aerospace engineers to develop part designs for AM with high level of confidence.”

Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS adds: “EOS constantly is striving to be the most trusted partner with proven and reliable technology, continuously complying with the requirements of the aerospace industry. Over the last few years, we have managed to fully qualify our technology – meaning qualified materials, processes and systems for the aerospace world. Aerospace demands reliable data, which is the primary aim of this project, and thereby we firmly believe that this project will substantially accelerate the adoption of AM in aerospace.

He continues: “Baltic3D intends to increase the access of 3D printing know-how and test results to make adoption of industrial 3D printing faster and easier for any aviation company. We share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to highest quality solutions for our customers, as well as constant technology innovation and cost reduction for complex parts. We look forward to support Baltic3D and Etihad on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts even closer towards true serial additive manufacturing.”

Ahmad Rajei, Acting Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation, Etihad Engineering, said: “As the first MRO airline in the Middle East to receive EASA approval to design, produce and certify 3D printed cabin parts, we are delighted to support Baltic3D and EOS. The launch of this R&D initiative is in line with Etihad Engineering's position as a leading global player in aircraft engineering as well as a pioneer in innovation and technology.”

www.etihadengineering .com