Lancashire aerospace company leads world-first project to 'print' plane parts

They're pushing the boundaries.
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Leading Lancashire aerospace specialist Airframe Designs is taking part in a world-first project aiming to print aircraft parts.

The Blackpool-based company has partnered with the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme for the 18-month project, and will use a polymer in the 3D printing.

"Pushing boundaries"

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Garry Sellick, additive manufacturing manager at Airframe Designs, said: “We are building a database of materials which can be used in the parts being developed for the future. The project is aiming to be a world-first in airworthy part production using water-soluble support in the 3D printing process with faster manufacture and less potential for damage than current manual methods.

“We’re proud that we’re pushing the boundaries for the aerospace industry and it is a testament to Airframe Designs that we can help lead this important development with our engineering excellence.”

The project developing the Victrex AM200 polymer will be ongoing until later this year when it will be reviewed as part of the programme, a £20million government-funded initiative developing more than 80 different aerospace technologies across the UK supply chain.

The services offered by Airframe Designs are designed to meet the requirements applicable for the aerospace and defence sectors for lightweight ultra-polymer materials that can withstand high temperatures but also provide adequate strength and durability margins.

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The aim of the project is to open up opportunities for flight-worthy parts within the aircraft cabin environment and aircraft interiors market. The technology can also be adapted for other industries including automotive, space, nuclear and rail.

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