Jun 15, 2017 | By Tess

3D printing giant Stratasys has entered into a technical partnership with Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based company that is developing supersonic passenger planes. As stipulated in the three-year agreement, Stratasys will support Boom Supersonic’s production of advanced tooling and production-grade aircraft parts with its FDM 3D printing technology.

Together, the companies are aiming to advance the commercial airline industry, bringing it closer and closer to supersonic travel through high-speed aviation innovations. In fact, Boom Supersonic expects to fly its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator as soon as next year with the help of advanced additive manufacturing processes, which offer faster production speeds, cost reductions, and more design freedom.

As part of the partnership, Stratasys will supply Boom Supersonic with its FDM Fortus 450mc 3D printer and the recently released F370 3D printer, both of which have the capacity to manufacture parts from production-grade thermoplastics and can offer Boom Supersonic on-demand production. The printers are also well equipped for manufacturing advanced manufacturing tools which could serve the aircraft manufacturer.

According to Boom, its supersonic airliner will have the ability to fly 2.6 times faster than any aircraft on the market (even faster than Concorde was!) and can accelerate to speeds of 1,451 miles (2,335 km) per hour. That means that what it currently about a seven-hour flight (say, New York to London) could be reduced to just over three hours—imagine!

Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer (left); Stratasys F370 3D printer (right)

“Supersonic flight has existed for over 50 years, but the technology hasn’t existed to make it affordable for routine commercial travel,” explained Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom. “Today’s significant advances in aerodynamics, engine design, additive manufacturing, and carbon fiber composite materials are transforming the industry at all levels. Additive manufacturing helps accelerate development of a new generation of aircraft.”

Rich Garrity, President of Americas for Stratasys, also voiced his excitement about the partnership: “Boom is working towards a major breakthrough in supersonic, commercial airline travel—and we’re excited Stratasys is now playing a strategic role in helping them achieve their goals," he said. "We are proud to add Boom Supersonic to a roster of leading aerospace companies successfully implementing our additive manufacturing solutions to deliver new innovations in aviation.”

Stratasys’ compact FDM 3D printers will enable Boom Supersonic to increase the pace of its production while at the same time lowering costs. Through the agreement, the Denver-based aircraft manufacturer will also be able to leverage Stratasys’ extensive 3D printing expertise, services, and materials.

Those visiting the Paris Air Show (held from June 19 to 25) will be able to see how Boom Supersonic is employing Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions, as both companies will be present at the event to showcase how 3D printing is “shaping the future of aerospace.”

Stratasys already has partnerships with a range of aerospace and aircraft companies, including Airbus, and SIA Engineering. Boom Supersonic, for its part, recently raised $33 million in a Series A funding round, which will be used to get its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator up in the air.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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