WATERTOWN, Mass.—Cabin Management Solutions (CMS), a privately held in-flight cabin management and entertainment systems company, is using two Markforged X7™ industrial carbon-fiber 3D printers to print high-quality, end-use parts for cabin management maintenance, upgrades, and replacements for luxury aircraft, Markforged said in a release.
Markforged is the creator of the integrated metal and carbon-fiber additive manufacturing platform, The Digital Forge. Cabin Management Solutions, founded in 2019, works frequently with aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies and individual aircraft owners to design and develop cabin control and entertainment systems for luxury, private, and business jets.
Cabin Management Solutions uses Onyx™ FR, a carbon fiber-filled nylon, to fabricate custom parts that are high-strength, low-weight, flame-retardant, and FAA compliant. The X7 printers are reported to have improved the quality and speed of parts production, enabling CMS to complete a higher volume of jobs more quickly, and earning it a reputation for fast time to market, high-quality deliverables, and a rigorous testing and certification process.
“In the aerospace industry, quality and on-the-fly adaptability are crucial to success,” said Jeff Pike, vice president of engineering at CMS, in the release. “We often have to produce low-volume, high-value parts from scratch, which can be time- and labor-intensive. Markforged’s X7 allows us to do this quickly and more efficiently, while ensuring functionality and retaining the upscale aesthetics expected in luxury aircrafts.”
On one aircraft, the CMS team printed 100 different parts, including some 20 light switch panels, a cabin climate controller, latches, release buttons, USB-C and drop-in USB-A chargers, and adjustable touch screen brackets. All were printed using the X7 printer.
To meet the specific demands of its luxury-oriented customers, the CMS team then adds an extra level of customization via overlays that mimic upscale cabin surfaces. They include gold metal electroplating, wood veneer, and more. CMS’s process ensures the end product is FAA- compliant while going above and beyond customers’ expectations for aesthetics, the release said.
Moving forward, CMS plans to continue leveraging Markforged’s additive technology. This is especially true following Markforged’s release of Onyx™ FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A—aerospace-ready versions of its Onyx FR and Carbon Fiber FR materials.
These two new materials come with full material traceability and are undergoing qualification on the Markforged X7 printer via a program conducted by the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), one of two bodies authorized by the FAA to qualify materials for flight. Once this process is complete, CMS will be able to increase its overall production speed, which will result in adding even more jobs to its already expanding pipeline, according to the release.
“CMS has incorporated Markforged technology into their business in a way that enables them to maintain their reputation for high quality and give themselves competitive advantage,” said Markforged President and CEO Shai Terem, in the release. “Our technology is not only about printing parts faster and at the point of need, but also giving aerospace manufacturers the confidence that their parts meet the regulatory and functional requirements of their industry.”