Following into the footsteps of other airlines such as easyjet, that turn to 3D printing technology in order to produce cabin replacement parts, Air New Zealand has partnered with Auckland University of Technology to 3D print cocktail trays.
The trays are integrated into their business class seats. Once the airline receives regulatory approval in the coming weeks, the 3D printed trays will be installed.
“Aircraft interiors are made up of tens of thousands of parts,” Air New Zealand chief operations office Bruce Parton explains. “Not only can’t we hold stock of every replacement part we might need, we often only require a small number of units which can be really expensive to produce using traditional manufacturing methods and can involve frustrating delays while a replacement part is delivered.”
3D printing enables airlines to quickly produce cost-effictive lightweight parts themselves. According to Parton the company has plans to expand the range of components made using 3D printing technology in future.