Metal additive manufacturer Sintavia has announced it has been approved to manufacture production parts for Honeywell Aerospace, via the powder bed fusion process. It says it is the first additive manufacturing company to receive such approval.

The approval covers all programmes within Honeywell Aerospace, Sintavia said.

Brian R. Neff, Sintavia’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We have been working with Honeywell for over 18 months as part of their rigorous supplier qualification. We are looking forward to demonstrating the many benefits of additive manufacturing within Honeywell’s supply chain in the form of lower costs, shorter manufacturing times, and dramatic design improvements.”

A statement from Sintavia added: “What makes additive manufacturing different from more traditional methods is the addition of material rather than its removal. By using additive processes, businesses benefit from shorter lead times, mass customisation, greater complexity, less wasted material and greater energy efficiency.”

He added: “As additive manufacturing as a technology matures, it is expected that OEMs such as Honeywell will increasingly rely on the traditional Tier One risk/reward supply chain model to manage.”

3D printing in aerospace

Analysis last year from ABI Research found that the use of 3D printing is increasing in enterprise manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace industry.

Pierce Owen, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, explained: “Aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), hospitals, dentists, and their suppliers already benefit from practical 3D printing use cases. Now, innovation from both established and new entry specialists will create more use cases in more industries on a scale not seen before. Even if AM does not make sense for mass production, distributed manufacturing platforms that provide access to 3D printers close to end users, will empower almost all manufacturers to explore using AM for replacement parts on-demand.”

The US aerospace and defence industries will make up a large chunk of AM growth over the next ten years, producing additive manufactured parts and products with a value of $17.8 billion in 2026, according to ABI. This is due to the sheer size of the American aerospace industry and its defence budget.

GE Additive and GE Aviation already 3D print fuel nozzles for the LEAP jet engines designed for the commercial aircraft of Airbus, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), the researchers noted.