Aerospace and 3D Printing with ULTEM

By Emmy Wolfe on

The aerospace industry is fast moving. Once one challenge gets solved, the market has already changed and moved onto a new trend. This means expensive and time-consuming tooling and production aren’t an efficient option. To remain competitive, the aerospace industry leans on additive manufacturing, especially 3D printing with ULTEM materials. Find out why in this blog.

ULTEM Material 

ULTEM is a high-performance fused deposition modeling (FDM) thermoplastic that empowers design and manufacturing engineers to 3D print advanced functional prototypes and production parts. ULTEM 1010 offers the highest heat resistance, chemical resistance and tensile strength of any FDM thermoplastics, and ULTEM 9085 offers a high strength-to-weight ratio, certifications and an excellent FST rating. We dive into these material properties that make ULTEM materials ideal candidates for aerospace applications.

Flame, Smoke & Toxicity Certified 

ULTEM 9085 printed part

Aircraft and spacecraft manufacturers have some of the strictest material regulations of any industry. Stratasys’ rigorous material testing makes their materials prime candidates to meet aerospace standards. Flame, Smoke and Toxicity or FST are some of the material properties they test. This involves testing the ignition, burn rate or combustion characteristics of materials. ULTEM passed these tests with flying colors and also has a V-0 flammability rating.

Lightweight & Strong

Aerospace requires materials that are durable and reliant as well as light enough for flight – not a combination that many 3D printing materials have. This is one of ULTEM’s most famous qualities, as it can create lightweight parts without detracting from strength. Decreasing weight is the number one way that aerospace manufacturing companies can save money. The weight affects an aircraft’s payload, fuel consumption, emissions, speed and safety.Both ULTEM materials are up for the high-demanding task the aerospace requires and are a great replacement for metal. From tools to parts, fixtures to cable, or management to housings, materials need to be able to withstand a large amount of stress. ULTEM rises to the challenge.

ULTEM is a high-performance thermoplastic that should be part of every aerospace engineer’s tool belt. For more information, please contact a TriMech 3D Printer Solutions Representative

To learn more about other high-performance materials, download the High-Performance 3D Printing Material Guide below.