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Maintenance Company to Begin Using 3D Printed Parts on Commercial Aircraft

Maintenance Company to Begin Using 3D Printed Parts on Commercial Aircraft
Joe Cortez

A European-based aircraft maintenance company will offer 3D printed aircraft parts for distribution to commercial aircraft.

The next set of replacement parts that could fit to your commercial aircraft may soon come from a 3D printer. In a press release, Magnetic MRO announced it will begin introducing 3D printed aircraft parts as part of the company’s Total Technical Care MRO strategy.

The Estonia-based maintenance company worked toward 3D printing alongside universities and software developers. As a result, the company has successfully created 3D printed prototype replacement parts for commercial aircraft. Metal parts are planned as the next step for the maintenance firm and are expected to be delivered by the end of 2016.

“We strongly believe that 3D printing will help reduce inefficiencies existing in production cycles for certain groups of aircraft parts globally,” said Risto Mäeots, CEO of Magnetic MRO. “Having started with interior parts, we are also evaluating 3D printing benefits for other in-house capabilities, such as structural engineering/sheet metal templates, OEM prototyping and others.”

If the 3D printed parts can meet industry standards provided by the EASA, and ultimately the FAA, the company claims the process could increase value for aviation partners and cut down the time needed for replacement parts. The 3D printed parts would be available from the Magnetic MRO facilities in Estonia and Ireland.

The announcement by Magnetic MRO marks the second time 3D printing has been introduced as a solution for aircraft maintenance. In February, a team of Australian researchers working with Safran successfully utilized 3D printing technology to build a jet engine.

[Photo: Magnetic MRO]

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