Air New Zealand to install 3D printed trays

Air New Zealand has announced it has additively manufactured fold-out cocktail trays for business class in its long haul flights, and is investigating expanding its use of 3D printing to reduce inventory.

Reuters reports that the airline will install the trays after regulatory approval is gained. Feasibility studies have already been completed.

Bruce Parton, chief operating officer at the company, said in a statement that “…aircraft interiors are made up of tens of thousands of parts.

“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.”

The project was part of a collaboration with Auckland University of Technology.