Stratasys has been making a number of hints that it wants move into the production manufacturing market, but now they have a huge opening to do so.
They announced a deal with Boom Technology to provide production aircraft parts.
Wait, what is Boom Technology, exactly? Boom is a tech startup that intends on producing supersonic commercial aircraft. This is a huge development in the aerospace industry, as there has not been commercial supersonic aircraft in the skies since the days of the ill-fated Concorde, which I was fortunate to fly on once.
Such aircraft fly multiple times faster than today’s commercial aircraft and could revolutionize intercontinental travel in the future.
Their target is to produce an aircraft capable of traversing the New York to London route in 3 hours, 15 minutes at a cost of USD$5,000 per seat. That means a top speed of around 2,300kph. Fast!
Concorde hoped to do so, too, but was doomed by excessive costs and noise problems as its supersonic boom disturbed those remaining below on the ground.
Boom hopes to overcome both of those problems in their new design, which will enable far more rapid movement of people and goods worldwide. If they pull it off, then they will become a major player in the industry.
And Stratasys would go right along with them.
Stratasys has recently announced several interesting demonstrator machines that could directly address the needs of Boom. Their Infinite Build Demonstrator could quickly produce a variety of interior finishing panels, for example. Their standard 3D printing gear could produce smaller production parts as well as complex tooling required for assembling the aircraft.
Initially this would be for Boom’s prototype jet, the XB-1, to demonstrate their capabilities. But it’s logical that Stratasys would continue working with them for future production of commercial aircraft.
It remains to be seen whether today’s aerospace manufacturers bite on Stratasys’ new concepts, but as of today it seems that one of the minor players is doing so.
And they may become a major player in the future. A huge step for Stratays.