UK-based BAE Systems is a leading defense, security, and aerospace manufacturer, serving customers in over 40 countries. Among the company’s business groups, BAE Systems Air supports client requirements across the whole life cycle of the air sector - from design, development and production, to provision of aircraft, training, support and maintenance.
The company has been using additive manufacturing over several years to support its “Factory of the Future” initiative, designed to leverage disruptive technologies and pave the way for future military aircraft production and maintenance operations. As a key pillar of this concept, BAE Systems has deployed four large-scale industrial-grade Stratasys F900™ 3D printers at its Samlesbury site to revolutionize manufacturing operations, the first being installed in 2014.
Supplied through Stratasys’ local partner, Laser Lines, this battery of FDM®-based 3D printers
runs around the clock and is used across aircraft ground equipment operations for a wide range of applications. These span space models and design verification prototypes, tools to support manufacturing, and final production parts.
“Our Factory of the Future program is all about driving the future of combat aircraft production with disruptive technologies. Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing plays an important role in this initiative, as it helps us meet our overall company objectives to reduce costs and timeto-market for new products,” explained Greg Flanagan, Additive Manufacturing Operations Lead, BAE Systems Air.
“We installed our latest F900 3D printer towards the end of last year, mainly to bolster our capacity as we increase our use of FDM technology, but also because of the ongoing material advances that give us an advantage when it comes to tooling applications,” he added.