Spirit AeroSystems’ first Norsk 3D-printed part

08 January 2019

Spirit AeroSystems, an American aero-structure manufacturer, has received its first 3D-printed structural component. The first product of an existing partnership between the company and Norwegian-American rapid plasma deposition (RPD) developer Norsk Titanium, the part has been installed in the forward fuselage of a Boeing 787.

As the sole producer of the nose section of every Boeing airplane in commercial production today, Spirit’s support of RPD technology could be paving the way for the further integration of 3D printing in aerospace.

As of 2019, Spirit’s partnership with Norsk has been ongoing for almost a decade, and has made RPD additive manufacturing a valuable and fully-integrated part of Spirit’s aero-structure production line, which includes the manufacture of fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components.

Norsk’s RPD technology uses a wire-based feed stock which is melted, layer by layer, within an inert, argon gas environment. The first confirmed part Norsk has produced for Spirit is as a back-up fitting for an access door latch. Now part of the entire 787 forward fuselage, the part is scheduled for final assembly at Boeing in January.

Image courtesy of Norsk Titanium