Aerospace

Achieving new heights with 3D printing

Navigate the future of aerospace with the shorter lead times, more affordable small series, and unrivaled design freedom that additive manufacturing (AM) can offer. Through our Form 1-accredited manufacturing of flying parts, industry-leading software, and specialist consultancy services, we engage with the entire aerospace supply chain, from OEMs to eVTOL start-ups, and from MROs to supplier tiers. Discover how we can support you at every stage of your journey. 

Aircraft engineers working on the interior of an 737 jet airplane

Why choose 3D printing?

Increase profitability

Smart and strategic use of AM unlocks efficiency gains and streamlines your supply chain. Using 3D-printed aircraft parts can reduce stock risk and warehousing costs for spare parts, as well as reduce downtime for AOGs. 

Gain agility

Short lead times and low tooling costs give you manufacturing agility in times of uncertainty. AM’s design freedom opens opportunities for more flexible designs, smaller series, and faster iterations to keep up with the pace of change.

Future-proof your operations

From bionic design and new materials to reimagined supply chains, the future of aviation is unimaginable without AM in it. Enjoy the benefits today and build up the knowledge, processes, and systems you need for tomorrow. 

Embrace innovation

With AM, more is possible. Fast-iteration design, rapid prototyping, a complete rethinking of components and assemblies. AM allows you to innovate differently and achieve new, better, and more sustainable solutions faster. 

Materials and certifications

Let your next project take flight with our certified additive manufacturing for aerospace. We have the accreditations you need to let us make flight-ready parts for you, and we can also help you develop and qualify new 3D printing applications and materials. 

3D-printed reinforcement panel with an EASA 21.J quality label designed by Expleo for a Boeing 737 dado panel
Small latches on dado panels tend to break frequently, needing costly replacements. Working together, Materialise and Expleo developed an EASA-compliant reinforcement panel that strengthens Boeing 737 dado panels against future breakages and removes the need to replace the entire panel.
Side-by-side comparison of 3D-printed titanium lift brackets. One is solid and the other has an optimized design with holes
eVTOL startup LIFT uses additive manufacturing to produce over 100 components of their aircraft, including the ENDY bracket — a crucial part of their safety features, with a weight reduction of around 40%.
A curved white 3D-printed panel is shown standing upright. The panel is used in commercial Airbus aircraft in the overhead storage compartment area. The front side is painted white with an aircraft interiors finish, and the back is unpainted and tan-colored Ultem 3D printing material.
With tight retrofit timeframes, Airbus was looking for a quick and smart solution to produce panels for overhead storage compartments in small batches. These panels are 15% lighter than conventional designs, manufactured in Ultem, and painted with an Airbus AIPI-compliant finish.
3D-printed volute at the base of the Firebolt DLX-150 liquid rocket engine
The exceptional thermal resistance of Inconel (IN718) made it an ideal choice for a crucial component in the cooling of a liquid-fueled rocket engine.
Black cable twist wheel for aircraft, printed in PA 12 using laser sintering
3D printing made it possible to develop a lightweight, ready-to-use cable twist wheel for aircraft cables, with an innovative double-acting hinge.

Why choose Materialise Manufacturing?  

On-hand expertise

Benefit from trusted support on even the most demanding projects and get advice on design and material choices.  

Certified processes and materials 

Let Materialise handle Form 1 certification as a POA or opt for our EN9100-certified processes, and choose from Airbus-qualified materials.

Historical performance data 

Gain valuable insights from performance data on hundreds of aerospace builds through our dynamically updated data lake.  

Complete process documentation 

Easily compile the records you need to ensure your use of AM complies with all necessary guidelines and standards.  

Applied R&D support  

Get the help you need to develop and qualify new 3D printing applications and materials to meet your business needs. 

Typical uses of 3D printing in aerospace

Cabin interiors

Low-criticality parts like seat row indicators, display shrouds, armrest caps, and overhead storage panels are ideal candidates for small-series AM production.

Four 3D-printed spare parts made of flame-retardant polyamide are shown: one is black and three are white. All four parts are commonly seen in aircraft cabin interiors. These parts are manufactured for 328 Support Services.

Frequently asked questions

Inspiration

Get inspired for your next project with a look at how 3D printing has made its mark in the aerospace industry.

More inspiration

Get in touch

Would you like to ask a question or begin working on a project? We’d love to hear from you.

Talk to our aerospace team