Etihad Engineering, the industry-leading Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) division of Etihad Aviation Group, has collaborated with EOS and BigRep, both leading 3D printing technology providers, to open the region’s first additive manufacturing facility with Design and Production Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Top Photo: The official opening of Etihad Engineering’s 3D printing lab was attended by H.E. Ernst Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE and representatives from Etihad Engineering, EOS and Big Rep. (L to R) Bernhard Randerath, VP Design, Engineering & Innovation, Etihad Engineering, Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Engineering, Markus Glasser, Senior VP EOS, H.E. Ernst Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE, Marie Langer, Chief Executive Officer, EOS, Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, Martin Black, Chief Executive Officer, BigRep.
The laboratory, located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, features two approved industrial 3D printers. The laboratory’s primary machine is the powder-bed fusion technology system EOS P 396, for demanding high performance and high-quality aircraft applications. In contrast to traditional manufacturing processes, it enables faster production and reduced weight of cabin parts.
Above Photo: The Etihad Engineering 3D printing lab is the Middle East’s first additive manufacturing facility with Design and Production Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
As an MRO solutions provider committed to continuously enhancing the service value it offers to the market and its customers, this month, Etihad Engineering, together with its partner EOS, received one of the first Airline MRO approvals from EASA for 3D printing using powder-bed fusion technology which will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.
Above Copyright Photo: Etihad Engineering engineers at work using the pioneering EOS Additive Manufacturing 3D Printer which is now located at Etihad Engineering’s facility located in Abu Dhabi.
The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR, and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-Check. Cabin defects can also be rectified within a short turnaround time which allows for the production of the required cabin parts during line maintenance.
The EOS machine operates with a total build volume of 340 x 340 x 600mm. The modular and highly productive system enables tool-free manufacture of serial components, spare parts, functional prototypes and models directly from CAD data.
The second machine is the BigRep ONE, one of the largest, serial-built industrial thermoplastic extrusion 3D printers. Bringing additive manufacturing to MRO, the ONE is designed for manufacturing large parts, jigs and fixtures as well as moulds – on site and on demand.
The facility was officially opened in a ceremony attended by His Excellency Ernst Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE in recognition of the relationship between the German companies EOS and BigRep and the UAE’s Etihad Engineering.
Etihad Engineering first received EASA approval to 3D print with filament technology in 2017 and was the first airline MRO in the world to certify, print and fly 3D printed cabin parts. The latest approval, received in October 2019 covers powder bed fusion 3D printing technology.
Etihad Engineering is recognised as a global leader in aircraft maintenance with a customer base spanning leading airlines and OEMs from South America to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
All photos by Etihad Engineering.