New Partnership on 3-D Printed Plastic Components for Aerospace

The manufacturing intelligence division of Hexagon (Stockholm, Sweden) is now working with three-dimensional (3-D) polymer printing solutions company Stratasys (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA) to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3-D printed plastic components. Through virtual engineering and manufacturing support, customers will be able to reduce the usual time period of two-to-three years for the design and testing of a part to within six-to-nine months.

In the partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform. The filament is used to produce parts for aircraft cabin interiors, such as bracketry and pieces for cable routing, covers, and duct components, all of which are required to meet stringent certifications for flammability and toxicity. 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.

In aviation, the need for the material to meet certification standards is paramount. As such, the ULTEM 9085 resin is a flame-retardant, high-performance thermoplastic with a high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent heat resistance and high impact strength, and with favorable flame, smoke, and toxicity characteristics. The material modeling software provides engineers with a validated tool for analyzing how the material will perform mechanically in a product design when printed with two compatible printers. 

Using Digimat, engineers can predict how parts made from the ULTEM 9085 filament may behave when made using approved Stratasys printers. This is made possible through a highly accurate virtual material model jointly developed by the two companies through physical testing, which includes detailed information about the material’s internal microstructure.

Source: Hexagon AB,