BAE engineers have created and flown a 3D printed metal camera bracket for the first time on-board an RAF Tornado fighter jet.
BAE engineers have created and flown a 3D printed metal camera bracket for the first time on-board an RAF Tornado fighter jet.

The company is also printing 3D plastic parts to help cut the cost of repairs, maintenance and service.

BAE says that 3D printing has already resulted in savings for the RAF of more than £300,000 and will offer further potential cost savings of more than £1.2 million between now and 2017.

“You are suddenly not fixed in terms of where you have to manufacture these things,” said Mike Murray, head of airframe integration. “You can manufacture the products and whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there, which means you can also start to support other platforms such as ships and aircraft carriers. 

“And if it’s feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn’t traditionally have any manufacturing support.”