The final machined part for the 777X program.
The final machined part for the 777X program.

Boeing and molding company Thermwood have joined forces to 3D print a large, single-piece tool for the 777X program.

Thermwood used a large scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) machine and newly developed vertical layer print (VLP) 3D printing technology to make the tool as a one-piece print from 20% carbon fiber reinforced ABS. It then trimmed the 12 ft R&D tool and delivered it to Boeing in August 2018.

Boeing research and technology engineer Michael Matlack said that using additive manufacturing (AM) technology in this application saved weeks of time, enabling delivery of the tool before traditional tooling could be fabricated.

This story is reprinted from material from Thermwoodwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.