Small But Critical

Producing small parts rapidly to ensure aircrafts remain airborn

BAE Systems saw 60% in cost savings through additive manufacturing compared to conventional manufacturing.

BAE Systems is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company. Its headquarters are in London with operations worldwide. It’s the largest defence contractor in Europe and among the world’s largest defence companies; it was ranked as the third largest based on applicable 2017 revenues. Its largest operations are in the United Kingdom and United States, where its BAE Systems Inc. subsidiary is one of the six largest suppliers to the US Department of Defence.

The Regional Aircraft team at Preswick realised that additive manufacturing could provide an elegant solution to this problem. They designed the replacement breather pipes which were prototyped by their colleagues at the BAE Systems Military Air & Information. Regional Aircraft then worked with 3T-am to develop the product for production.

After working with 3T-am, the parts are now in stock at BAE Systems Regional Aircraft’s spares warehouse and are being used by its customers for use on in-service aircraft. The projected timeline for producing the part using injection moulding was six months yet using additive manufacturing, this was reduced to four weeks.

Having achieved this first breakthrough, we are now looking at a range of 3D printing opportunities”

Philip Beard,

Structures Support Manager