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BAE engineers help produce top flight technology
5:00pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
A REVOLUTIONARY new airline part has been produced using 3D printing technology with the help of engineers from Lancashire.
Staff from BAE Systems at Samlesbury and Warton designed the part and have been involved in the collaborative project, led by Cranfield University.
The component is one of the largest 3D printed metal parts to be produced in the UK, and the project demonstrates how this manufacturing technique could revolutionise the way aircraft are produced.
The 1.2m long titanium component was produced in 37 hours from a digital model.
The part is known in the industry as a spar section, and sits longitudinally to form part of an aircraft wing .
Matt Stevens was one of the BAE Systems engineering leads on the project.
He said “We’ve been able to demonstrate we have the ability to manufacture titanium parts on this scale.
“The next stage is to continue working together to produce more parts and to develop a robust set of processes so that we can take this technology and apply it safely and seamlessly into the aerospace industry.”
Stewart Williams, who leads the Cranfield team said: “It’s crucial that we work together on projects like this to bring together the best knowledge and skills across academia and industry.
“Collective power ensures we in the UK stay at the cutting edge of this exciting new technique.”
BAE Systems has already flown a number of flight-cleared 3D printed non-metallic parts made out of materials such as ULTEM and Polyamide12, but this latest project leads the way for greater use of 3D printing in the airline industry.
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