Thermwood and Boeing have announced that they've made a large 3D printed composite part for Boeing's 777X program. The Thermwood’s LSAM technology was used to make a 20% carbon fiber reinforced ABS part. The part is a "12-foot-long R&D tool." This demonstrates the possible applications of polymer 3D printing for large parts for aerospace, albeit in experimental tooling.
Boeing's 777X program will create Boeing's next-generation long-range wide-body airliners.Having maxed out composites on its 787 aircraft Boeing is looking to bring its expertise in composite materials to these twin-aisle airliners.This in contrast to the Airbus strategy of efficient short-haul airliners combined with hub and spoke with large A 380's flying between big cities.
Composites were crucial to Boeing’s development of the 787. Boeing was also a very early (think 1995) pioneer in using various 3D printing technologies on many military and civilian platforms. To see these two technologies intertwine in LSAM feels very logical indeed.
Thermwoos’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing machine and its Vertical Layer Print (VLP) 3D printing technology can make large composite parts.