Patent granted by Boeing for virtual library of 3D printable aircrafts

13 Mar

Patent granted by Boeing for virtual library of 3D printable aircrafts

According to reports a patent that belongs to Aerospace giant Boeing have been approved for a latest system, which gives the leverage of printing on demand 3D printed air crafts. With 3D printing technology Boeing and its client will be able to use the system for ordering replacement aircraft parts and the manufacturing of those parts will be done more quickly and at affordable prices. This latest system stores designs in a virtual library for 3D printed parts and makes them available to the clients.

Lately, Boeing have been enjoying all the advantages of 3D technologies latest possibilities, which it has been presenting for years in wide array of areas and with great success. In 2016, the company made customized drilling tools for the construction of its new Boeing 777 passenger jets and won the production team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory the Guinness World Record for largest 3D printed items. The company also collaborated with the Lotus Formula 1 team for a latest method of 3D printing high-performance carbon fiber components. 3D printing technology will be used for manufacturing for its Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.  

The latest development promotes the standardization of 3D printing for the entire range of aircraft parts. Aircraft which are manufactured by Boeing includes a wide range of parts and structures that needs to be replaced over time. The entire range of the parts is exclusive and the design is certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in accordance with their material, properties, shape and other specifications. The standards of the safety and airworthiness are the most important requirements and hence, can lead to difficulty in manufacturing of the replacement parts which is in turn a more time consuming process if you compare it with the other industries.

Talking about the new system, lately its patent was approved after it was filed back in 2013, Boeing’s spokesperson managed to identify the replacement of parts for the companies clients as it was becoming a major issue which was affecting the maintaining process of its aircraft. The spokesperson said that “A client may request for replacement parts from the company that is manufacturing the aircrafts when he/she is in need of it”. But the delivery of requested parts from the manufacturer of aircrafts may take a lot of time, which could be unbearable for a client. Some clients may even keep some inventory of parts with them just in case they have an urgency. But on the contrary the storage of inventory of some extra parts either by the aircraft manufacturer or by the client may require unwanted resources which may cause extra cost.

Offering an effective solution to this problem, the newly proposed system by Boeing not only includes a large virtual library of 3D part designs but also includes a database of technical information along with management system parts that logs requests for designs and printing methods. To keep Boeing’s aircraft operational, any client who has the access of this system would be able to manufacture all its parts. And this on-demand availability of replacement parts would further result in a head forward step in the industry of aerospace. This means the companies would now no longer require wide ranging inventories of the parts they need thereby resulting in fastened process of aircraft upkeep.

Ready to benefit yet again from 3D printing technology, the other manufacturers’ weather large or small will surely be following suit with such a small company - Boeing. As of now more and more industries are turning towards 3D printing in order to change their work way, it becomes quite exciting to know more about what future might hold.

Image Credit: MKS Technologies Pvt Ltd

Chris Joel (Author)

Patent granted by Boeing for virtual library of 3D printable aircrafts
Chris Joel is a writer at 3D Printers Online Store. Hailing from South London, he has a degree in English Literature. His interests include the application of 3D printing technology to art and its popularization.