Eviation Aircraft developing all-electric commuter plane with Stratasys 3D printing 

Eviation was able to create the required strong, geometrically complex, lightweight parts by 3D printing a composite lay-up tool in ULTEM 1010 material, which was then covered with carbon fiber.

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Israel-based Eviation Aircraft, a global manufacturer of all-electric air mobility solutions, is using Stratasys (Minneapolis, Minn.) 3D printing technology to develop one of the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft.

“In the next four years, Eviation aims to make regional air travel a cost-effective and clean option that rivals any existing form of transit today,” says Eviation founder and CEO, Omer Bar-Yohay. “With people working and commuting across greater distances than ever before, we believe the solution will bring mid-range cities like Seoul and Beijing, or London and Paris, closer together through all-electric air travel."

The entire development process – including aerodynamic testing and the propulsion system – was redesigned to maximize the efficiency of electric flight. Stratasys 3D printing enabled the company to test many of its designs long before it needed to invest in actual certifiable parts, resulting in accelerated processes and more innovative designs, as well as significantly reduced engineering costs.

For example, Eviation 3D printed its wing-tip motors in a matter of hours, enabling swifter design and functional evaluation, while waiting for the final motors to be shipped. Another key aspect of Eviation’s design is its ability to reduce interference drag on the exterior of the aircraft by employing smooth, curved surfaces. Eviation was able to create the required strong, geometrically complex, lightweight parts to support these surfaces by 3D printing a composite lay-up tool in ULTEM 1010 material, which was then covered with carbon fiber.

“All in all, in two years of operation we have saved several hundreds of thousands of dollars with Stratasys 3D printing and I would estimate six months or more of workforce hours, which made this project possible,” adds Bar-Yohay. “Today we are using the technology for prototyping test parts and tooling; the ability to produce lightweight parts in complex geometries will also enable us to explore the possibility of 3D printing parts for the final aircraft.”

Eviation is expecting to begin flight testing in late 2018 with commercial availability slated for 2021.