Boeing and Oerlikon recently signed a five-year collaboration agreement to develop standard materials and processes for metal-based additive manufacturing. Popularly known as 3-D printing, additive manufacturing is a controlled process in which material is joined or solidified to create a three-dimensional part.
"This agreement is an important step toward fully unlocking the value of powder-bed titanium additive manufacturing for the aerospace industry," said Leo Christodoulou, chief technologist for Boeing Additive Manufacturing. "Boeing and Oerlikon will work together to standardize additive manufacturing operations from powder management to finished product and thus enable the development of a wide range of safe, reliable and cost-effective structural titanium aerospace components."
Boeing and Oerlikon will use the data from the collaboration to support the qualification of additive manufacturing suppliers to produce metallic components using a variety of machines and materials. The research will initially focus on industrializing titanium powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing and ensuring parts made with this process meet the flight requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense.
"This program will drive the faster adoption of additive manufacturing in the rapidly growing aerospace, space and defense markets," said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group. "Working together with Boeing will define the path in producing airworthy additive manufacturing components for serial manufacturing."
Since 1997, Boeing has been a leader in researching and implementing additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry, and currently has nearly 50,000 3-D-printed parts flying on commercial, space and defense programs.
Oerlikon is a leading service provider in additive manufacturing, offering a range of integrated services, from metal powder production to component design, manufacturing, post-processing and quality inspection.
For more information, visit www.boeing.com.