Oxford to produce more than 600 3D-printed parts for Boeing’s space taxis

OPM has already begun shipping OXFAB production parts for installation.

Oxford Performance Materials (OPM, South Windsor, Conn.) will manufacture more than 600 3D-printed parts for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner space taxis. OPM has already begun shipping OXFAB production parts for installation. The Starliner – designed to transport up to seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, to low-Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station – is under development in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

OPM says that its proprietary OXFAB technology platform is a merging of OXPEKK high performance thermoplastic and additive manufacturing technology, delivering a range of fully functional, end-use parts and components. The OXFAB components for the Starliner utilize OPM advanced materials science and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM) technologies. OPM’s aerospace & industrial division has established a set of robust performance attributes verified in an exhaustive B-Basis database that was developed in conjunction with NASA.

According to a Reuters report:

"Oxford's parts will help Boeing lower costs and save weight on each seven-seat capsule, compared with traditional metal and plastic manufacturing, Larry Varholak, president of Oxford's aerospace business, said in an interview.

"What really makes it valuable to NASA and Boeing is this material is as strong as aluminum at significantly less weight," he said. Boeing said the weight savings on Oxford's parts is about 60 percent compared with traditional manufacturing."

OPM recently announced a strategic investment from Hexcel (Stamford, Conn.) to further enable OPM to expand capacity to meet rapidly growing market demand for the company’s OXFAB technology in aerospace and other industries.