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Expert Insight

Digital Direct Production (DDP) for Aircraft Cockpit Interior Components

Aircraft cockpits feature large numbers of small components like knobs and switches that are critical to safety of flight. This is particularly true with older aircraft that predate extensive use of multi-functional displays (MFDs). These small cockpit components are important for safe and ergonomic aircraft operation but often become unserviceable over time. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to source replacement components as spare part supplies have been exhausted and the required injection molding dies were discarded or became unserviceable long ago.

This presentation will detail a new additive manufacturing solution for rapidly replacing (and improving) small cockpit interior components. This new solution is composed of the 3D Systems Figure 4® Digital Direct Production Printer, a new flame-retardant photopolymer with high toughness, and 3D Sprint® software. 

Allyson Cox, research engineer, additive manufacturing technology development, structural materials division, University of Dayton Research Institute, and Dr. Michael Shepard, 3D Systems’ vice president, aerospace & defense segment, will review the requirements of the application and testing efforts to demonstrate compliance.

Particular discussion elements will include mechanical properties, UV tolerance, fluid compatibility, and compliance with the modern flame retardancy requirements of US law (14 CFR § 25.853 – Compartment Interiors). Additional future applications will also be discussed.

The speakers are:
Dr. Mike Shepard, VP, Aerospace & Defense Segment Leader, 3D Systems
Allyson Cox, University of Dayton Research Institute


  • Aviation and aerospace