Eden Prairie-based Stratasys Ltd. was chosen by Airbus to make 3-D printed polymer parts for use on the A350 XWB aircraft, company officials announced Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.
Stratasys' Direct Manufacturing unit will use its sophisticated commercial 3-D printers to manufacture non-structural airplane parts such as brackets, and other parts that are used for system installation.
The Airbus parts will be made on Stratasys' FDM 3D printers and made with the heat-resistant ULTEM™ 9085 thermoplastic resin. Officials said they expect the project will help Airbus achieve greater supply chain flexibility, improve costs and reduce waste.
Stratasys, which has dual headquarters in Rehovot, Israel and Eden Prairie, is striving to increase its aerospace customer base as commercial applications for the 3-D printing machines it manufactures have greater returns than its consumer printing products.
Stratasys' 3-D printers are already used throughout the $13 billion aerospace industry, but mostly to make prototypes and assembly tools for customers such as NASA, United Launch Alliance, Siemens, Boeing and Airbus.
Stratasys' FDM technology has been used to make Airbus tools since 2013. Stratasys, which generated $672 million in revenue but recorded a $77 million loss last year, announced three new aerospace partnerships last month.