CHICAGO. Boeing (NYSE:BA) officials are upping the company’s investment in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Boeing is investing in Morf3D, a metal-based additive engineering and manufacturing specialist in El Segundo, Calif.; Morf3D’s technology enables lighter and stronger 3D-printed parts for aerospace applications.
Morf3D, established in late 2015, has produced 3D-printed titanium and aluminum components for Boeing satellites and helicopters. With this investment, Morf3D will collaborate with Boeing to further develop manufacturing processes and engineering capabilities.
"Developing standard additive manufacturing processes for aerospace components benefits both companies and empowers us to fully unleash the value of this transformative technology," says Kim Smith, vice president and general manager of Fabrication for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Additive Manufacturing leader.
Morf3D's metallurgy experts leverage a new set of additive manufacturing design rules to advance the technology and accelerate 3D-printing capabilities for commercial use. The company’s state-of-the-art software combined with engineering expertise significantly reduce mass, and increase the performance and functionality of manufactured parts, officials say.
"We are excited to be a distinguished and trusted partner of Boeing's additive manufacturing supplier base, as we continue to industrialize our processes for the high-rate production of flight-worthy additively manufactured components," Morf3D CEO Ivan Madera says. "This investment will enable us to increase our engineering staff and expand our technology footprint of EOS M400-4 DMLS systems to better serve the growing demands of our aerospace customers."
"As innovative companies continue to revolutionize technologies and methods, we are proud to invest in the rapidly growing and competitive additive manufacturing landscape," adds Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX.
The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion, and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
Boeing's investment in Morf3D is the latest example of the company's achievements with additive manufacturing partners worldwide.
In March 2018, Boeing and Norsk Titanium received the Aviation Week Laureate Award for Commercial Supplier Innovation for qualifying the first additively manufactured structural titanium parts on a commercial airplane.
In February 2018, Boeing announced a five-year research agreement with Swiss-based supplier Oerlikon to develop standard materials and processes for titanium powder bed additive manufacturing.
Boeing is a large aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.