Etihad Airlines Wants to Make the Middle East a 3D Printing Leader

A global partnership between a European manufacturing giant and one of the world’s leading airlines based in the UAE has the lofty goal of advancing their companies’ futures while developing young people’s 21st century skills.

Earlier today, Siemens, Etihad Airlines and the Abu Dhabi based manufacturing firm Strata said they’re going to develop the “first 3D-printed aviation parts designed, manufactured and certified in the UAE, Middle East and the entire Asian world”, which would mark a massive shift in the manufacturing capabilities of an entire part of the globe.

Each company involved in this new initiative is bringing different capabilities to the table and will play its in own role in determining whether 3d printing in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Asia is ready to provide scalable end use manufacturing solutions to the world’s best companies. Etihad Airlines’ engineering department will take the lead on certifying parts for use in the company’s airline fleet.

“The biggest challenge for the use of flying 3D-printed parts in aviation is certification and we are ready to tackle it and make it a reality,” said Jeff Wilkinson, who manages Etihad Airways Engineering.

Wilkinson is noting the importance of ensuring that any part used in Etihad’s airplanes using 3d printing needs to go through the same rigorous testing that it’s current line of parts do.

These new 3d printed parts will be made by Strata in Abu Dhabi, which sees altruistic value in this initiative to go along with the business related value of becoming a supplier to Etihad with unmatched capabilities in the region.

“Our goal is to deploy this technology on practical applications that will allow development of local knowledge building in various aspects of this technology that will lead to future innovations that can benefit the broader aerospace industry,” said Strata CEO Badr Al Olama

Siemens, for its part, is providing its expertise in “digitalisation and 3D printing”, because it has a relatively large amount of experience and data in the applications of additive manufacturing for industrial clients.

This project is truly an excellent example of critical infrastructure being made closer to the end user and it just so happens it also involves large corporations looking to advance the knowledge base of local citizens.

Etihad Airlines Wants to Make the Middle East a 3D Printing Leader was originally published in 3dprintingtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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