Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched a new solution with Stratasys to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3D printed plastic components and compress time to market.
Through the virtual engineering and manufacturing support provided by the partnership, customers will be able to reduce a two-to-three-year timescale of designing and testing a part to six-to-nine months.
Guillaume Boisot, Head of ICME, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division says: “The aerospace industry is continuously pushing the boundaries of performance and innovation, but current confidence in the performance of additive manufactured parts is mostly limiting its application to highly specialized metal parts. We are excited that this new development in our partnership with Stratasys will help compress the design and testing phases and improve understanding of plastic behavior and speed up innovation across the sector.”
Scott Sevcik, Vice President, Aerospace Business Segment for Stratasys adds: “The dual needs to make complex parts lighter and produce low volumes economically has meant that aerospace has pulled 3D printing towards production and put the sector ahead of the curve in use of the technology. But this also means it’s the first industry to identify several challenges, a key one being the need for a digital toolset to provide confidence in 3D printed parts. Our partnership with Hexagon is a big step forward in solving that, as it gives engineers the same upfront design intelligence for 3D printing that they have for traditional processes.”
Through the new partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEM™ 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform.
ULTEM™ 9085 filament is used to produce parts for aircraft cabin interiors, such as bracketry, pieces for cable routing, covers and duct components, all of which are required to meet stringent certification, for example around flammability and toxicity.
Airbus has used FDM™ technology in these applications dating back to 2014. Some customers also use the material in cosmetic aircraft interiors, such as Diehl aviation, which has used it to create curtain headers that divide cabin classes for the Airbus A350.
Using Digimat, engineers will be able to predict how parts made from ULTEM™ 9085 filament may behave when made using approved Stratasys printers.
The software’s process simulation capabilities help manufacturers avoid defects such as the delineation of warpage of a part and analyze the print time and material cost for the proprietary printer toolpaths of these machines to achieve an optimal result.