Press release

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Turns to Stratasys Technology to 3D Print Final Flight Parts for Innovative Aircraft Program

Sponsored by Businesswire

Aerospace and Defence Group
is now using advanced 3D printing from Stratasys
(Nasdaq: SSYS) to manufacture, flight-ready parts for several of its
military, civil and business aircraft – while producing specific
ground-running equipment at a lower cost than aluminum alternatives. The
company is currently one of the world’s largest privately owned and
independent aerospace and defense companies.

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Final, flight-approved, 3D printed ducting for air conditioners. 3D printed in ULTEM™ 9085 resin on  ...

Final, flight-approved, 3D printed ducting for air conditioners. 3D printed in ULTEM™ 9085 resin on the Fortus 450mc (Photo: Business Wire)

Marshall already has several pieces of 3D-printed ductwork flying on
heavily modified aircraft, as well as holders for safety knives and
switches for aircraft interiors. 3D printing flight-approved parts on
demand enables the company to produce lighter parts than traditional
methods, significantly faster and at lower cost.

According to Chris Botting, Materials, Processes and Additive
Manufacturing Engineer at Marshall ADG, the ability to create accurate,
repeatable and reliable 3D printed parts using aerospace-approved
materials are key factors in achieving the performance requirements
necessary for use within aircraft.

“When manufacturing on complex engineering programs, we need a method
that can create an accurate, complex, functional and lightweight duct
efficiently with minimal tooling costs – this is where 3D printing fits
perfectly. But we also need to ensure that the ducting work produced
will be approved by the EASA for flight,” explains Botting. “As a
result, we’re using the Stratasys
Fortus 450mc
FDM Printer and ULTEM™
9085 resin
– a tough, yet lightweight 3D printing material with high
thermal and chemical resistance. This has been crucial to overcoming the
stringent requirements of our industry, as we can now 3D print parts
with the desired flame, smoke and toxicity properties for use on
aircraft interiors.”

On the Ground Savings

The company is also utilizing its Fortus 450mc 3D printer, purchased
from Stratasys UK and Ireland Platinum Partner SYS
, to build final parts on the ground. Marshall recently
created a ducting adapter prototype for vital ground-running equipment –
essential for providing fresh air to cool the aircraft’s avionics. 3D
printing this particular part helped Marshall transition from typically
costly aluminum processes.

“Before committing to expensive aluminum machining, we used the Fortus
450mc to 3D print a prototype in ASA material,” says Botting. “It
enabled us to create an accurate working prototype of a complex
component. We were then able to demonstrate it had the potential to be
3D printed in Nylon 12 material as opposed to the more conventional
method of machining from aluminum. The 3D printed duct led to a
significant cost reduction compared to machining the part out of
aluminum, as well as a 63% reduction in overall weight.”

The group is also using Stratasys 3D printers for a range of complex
tooling applications, including drill jigs, masking templates, bonded
fixtures and composite mold tooling. The team regularly produces
customized, low-volume production tools within just 24 hours of an
engineer’s request. In fact, they are driving use of 3D-printed
thermoplastic tools to replace heavy metal tools, reducing the burden on
the operator, and crucially, reducing cost and lead times on urgent
operational tasks.

Botting foresees the use of Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing to
increase across all elements of the business and to drive new

“FDM technology has altered the way we work, and the aerospace-grade 3D
printers and materials enable us to meet our increasingly aggressive
deadlines and complex manufacturing requirements,” Botting said. “In the
future, there is no doubt that 3D printing will continue to have a
significant impact in the way we design and manufacture in our business.”

To learn more about Stratasys’ additive manufacturing solutions for the
aerospace industry, visit Hall 4, Stand D192 at the International Paris
Air Show, 2019, June 17th – 23rd, Paris, France.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has specialised in
protecting people in critical situations for more than 100 years. Today
the company continues to deliver world-leading applied engineering
services to a wide range of global customers, ensuring they benefit from
our agility, innovation and collaborative approach, whatever their
needs. They rely on our core capabilities of managed services,
integration and technologies, which we deliver in partnership through
the ability to solve the most complex of challenges. We are a team of
more than 1,800 highly skilled colleagues, located across UK, Canada,
Europe and UEA, dedicated to setting the highest standards across the
industry. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is part of Marshall of
Cambridge (Holdings) Limited, the private holding company of the
Marshall family. Founded in 1909, the Group had a turnover of nearly
£2.5bn in 2018, and more than 6,000 employees.

Stratasys is a global leader in additive manufacturing or 3D
printing technology and is the manufacturer of FDM® and
PolyJet™ 3D printers. The company’s technologies are used to create
prototypes, manufacturing tools, and production parts for industries,
including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, consumer products and
education. For 30 years, Stratasys products have helped manufacturers
reduce product-development time, cost, and time-to-market, as well as
reduce or eliminate tooling costs and improve product quality. The
Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem of solutions and expertise includes: 3D
printers, materials, software, expert services, and on-demand parts
production. Online at:, and LinkedIn.

Stratasys, FDM and Fortus are registered trademarks of Stratasys Inc.
Fortus 450mc is a trademark of Stratasys, Inc. ULTEM™ is a registered
trademark of SABIC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners, and Stratasys assumes no
responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of
these non-Stratasys products.

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