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Boom Supersonic to take 3D printing beyond the speed of sound

Minneapolis-based 3D printing and additives manufacturing company, Stratasys Ltd, has signed a three-year agreement with Boom Supersonic, the company that is out to make a passenger jet that will fly faster than the speed of sound, but at a more competitive cost for passengers than the Concorde offered.

In a 15 June statement ahead of the Paris Air Show June 19-25, Stratasys said the Denver-based Boom will accelerate the development speed of new supersonic aircraft using  Stratasys fused deposition modeling 3D printing technology. 

Boom Supersonic, which is backed by entrepreneur Richard Branson, is aiming to create a civilian supersonic transport aircraft able to fly up to Mach 2.2,  or 1,451 miles per hour, faster than the speed of sound

Under the agreement, Boom will be able to leverage FDM-based 3D printing for production-grade aircraft parts and advanced composite tooling in its production.

According to Stratasys, the 3D printing will offer “design freedom, production speed and heightened cost efficiencies” to Boom, which plans for the first flight of its supersonic demonstrator XB-1 to take place next year.

The company is deploying Stratasys FDM-based Fortus 450mc and F370 3D printers — designed to produce on-demand parts as well as advanced manufacturing tools.

The company did not give further details on the materials to be used for parts production.

Boom claims its supersonic airliner will be able to fly 2.6 times faster than any other aircraft on the market today, reducing the 7-hour length of a London to New York flight to just over three hours. 

“Supersonic flight has existed for over 50 years, but the technology hasn’t existed to make it affordable for routine commercial travel. Additive manufacturing helps accelerate development of a new generation of aircraft,” explained Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom.

Stratasys, he said, will be a “key catalyst” in Boom’s design and production processes.

“We are proud to add Boom Supersonic to a roster of aerospace companies successfully implementing our additive manufacturing solutions to deliver new innovations in aviation,” said Rich Garrity, president of Americas for Stratasys.

Stratasys, he went on to say, could offer high engineering-grade and high-efficiency 3D printing suited for producing the complex part designs and custom manufacturing tools within the aviation industry.

» Publication Date: 16/06/2017

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