Materialise 3D Prints Flight-Ready Parts for Airbus; Unveils Magics20 AM Software
Kira | 3ders.org
Materialise has made two big announcements at this year’s Formnext, which in its first day has already proven to be a hotbed of industry innovation. First, the company has announced that it will be manufacturing 3D printed, flight-ready plastic parts for Airbus through its certified Factory for 3D Printing; and second, its latest software release, Magics20, is now available, offering a new user interface and support for all current file formats, including voxels and .3MF.
Earlier this year in April, Belgian-based Materialise announced that they had obtained EN9100 and EASA 21G certification, thereby authorizing the company to deliver airworthy additively manufactured end-use parts—an extremely important qualification, as more and more aerospace and defense organizations are looking to 3D printing and AM technology to manufacture high-quality, reproducible and highly complex end-use parts.
Thanks to this certification, Materialise's Factory for 3D Printing is today manufacturing plastic parts for Airbus’s latest model in the family of Airbus aircraft, the A350 XWB. Offering 25 per cent lower fuel consumption and higher comfort standards for passengers that previous models, the A350 XWB is considered a ‘new generation’ of aircraft. In order to meet these high performance requirements, while ensuring reliability and lower maintenance, Airbus sought out the topology optimization and functional integration that comes with 3D printed end-use parts. This isn’t the A350 XWB’s first run-in with 3D printig. Previously, Airbus partnered with Stratasys, who produced over one thousand 3D printed parts for the Airbus A350 XWB, delivering lightweight parts that saved time and money when compared to convential production methods, in what was believed to be a new record in the number of 3D printed parts included in a single airplane.
“Airbus understands and appreciates the benefits that 3D printing - or more appropriately in this case, Additive Manufacturing (AM) – can bring to the most modern widebody aircraft : the A350 XWB. In addition, with one of the most thorough test programmes developed for a jetliner, the use of AM end-use parts sends a strong signal about the reliability and quality that AM can deliver today,” said Executive Vice President of Production, Bart Van der Schueren. “For 25 years, Materialise has been working to improve AM through an ever more sophisticated software offering, and a Factory for 3D Printing that manufactures parts that meet the needs of even the most demanding of industries, including the health care, automotive and aerospace sectors. As such, we are very proud to now be delivering end-use, flight-ready parts to Airbus.”
In its second big announcement of the day, Materialise has released Magics20, the 20th edition of its data and build preparation software for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This latest version is equipped with a modern, intuitive interface, advanced geometrically correct fixing, texture and color repair features, high-precision marking tools and elaborate measurements and reports with a strong focus on quality control.
Additional module upgrades include the Sinter Module, which allows users to next parts 25 to 40% faster, and the Support Generation Module, which offers the option to mark through transparent zones, mark the area from the support preview, and offers an improved tree support workflow.
When I purchased my first stereolithography machine and started Materialise 25 years ago, the industry lacked the software needed to efficiently connect a design to a 3D Printer,” said Materialise Founder and CEO, Fried Vancrean. “In order to survive and thrive as a company, we needed to develop a solution that allowed us to meet customer demand for 3D printed prototypes, on time and as ordered. The resulting software worked so well that we brought it to the market as Magics. Over the years, Magics has helped lift the AM industry as a whole to new levels by optimizing data and build preparation for an expanding range of materials and technologies.”
According to the company, their Magics20 software, combined with their range of additional software solutions, is a ‘backbone’ of the AM industry, further enabling the rise of certified end-part manufacturing for even the most demanding industries including aerospace, automotive, eye wear and more.
To demonstrate this, the company has several projects on display at Formnext with cases from Toyota, Adidas, Samsonite, and of course, their above-mentioned partnership with Airbus. Having just opened its doors today, this year’s highly-anticipated Formnext Conference on Additive Manufacturing and Tool Making is already the source of some major industry announcements. Surely many more new projects, 3D printing software and systems, and strategic partnerships will follow as the show progresses.