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Improving development speed for supersonic aircraft with 3D printing

16 June 2017

Stratasys and Boom Supersonic announced a technical partnership to bring the commercial airline industry one step closer towards routine supersonic travel.

Additive manufacturing enables unmatched design freedom and production speed of Boom's XB-1 supersonic demonstrator (Photo: Business Wire)

Aimed at shaping the future of high-speed aviation, this three-year agreement was signed to help Boom accelerate production of advanced tooling and production-grade aircraft parts based on Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology.

By leveraging the design freedom, production speed, and heightened cost efficiencies of additive manufacturing, Boom plans for the first flight of XB-1, its supersonic demonstrator, to take place next year. The company is deploying Stratasys FDM-based Fortus 450mc and F370 3D Printers — both designed to produce on-demand parts leveraging production-grade thermoplastics, as well as advanced manufacturing tools that perform even under aviation’s most challenging environments.

Boom’s supersonic airliner will fly 2.6 times faster than any other aircraft on the market today. Accelerating to 1,451mph, the planes could reduce typical New York to London flight times of seven hours 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. Today’s significant advances in aerodynamics, engine design, additive manufacturing, and carbon fibre composite materials are transforming the industry at all levels. Additive manufacturing helps accelerate development of a new generation of aircraft,” said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom. “With a proven track-record of success across aviation and aerospace, Stratasys now becomes a key catalyst in our design and production processes – helping to transform the future of aviation through the power of 3D printing.”

Stratasys empowers Boom to improve speed of development of XB-1, their supersonic demonstrator, taking flight next year (Photo: Business Wire)

The agreement will allow Boom to leverage Stratasys 3D printing solutions, materials and expert services. The 3D printing solutions will advance speed, cost savings and performance across critical engineering and manufacturing processes at its headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

“Boom is working towards a major breakthrough in supersonic, commercial airline travel - and we’re excited Stratasys is now playing a strategic role in helping them achieve their goals. We are proud to add Boom Supersonic to a roster of leading aerospace companies successfully implementing our additive manufacturing solutions to deliver new innovations in aviation,” said Rich Garrity, President of Americas for Stratasys. “Stratasys’ engineering-grade, high-efficiency 3D printing solutions are perfectly suited for producing the complex part designs and custom manufacturing tools this industry demands.”

At the Paris Air Show on June 19 - 25, Boom Supersonic and Stratasys will jointly be exploring the many ways additive manufacturing is shaping the future of aerospace. 

Register now and book a tour of the Stratasys booth, or participate at the advanced demonstrations and executive presentations in Hall 4, Stand C208.


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