3D printing to accelerate development of supersonic aviation

3D printing and additive manufacturing company, Stratasys, has signed a three-year technical partnership agreement with Boom Supersonic to bring the commercial airline one step closer towards routine supersonic aviation.

Stratasys empowers Boom to improve speed of development of XB-1, its supersonic demonstrator, taking flight next year – image courtesy of Boom.
Stratasys empowers Boom to improve speed of development of XB-1, its supersonic demonstrator, taking flight next year – image courtesy of Boom.

The agreement aims to shape the future of supersonic aviation, with Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology expected to help Boom fast-track the development of advanced tooling and production-grade aircrafts parts.

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 aviation 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 reportedly 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.

Founder and CEO of Boom, Blake Scholl explained: “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.”

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