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Preparing for Takeoff

Bell Helicopter’s Xworx prototyping lab used FDM to build functional models of communication-wiring conduit for the Osprey

Real Challenge

Bell Helicopter manufactures the heavy-lift “tiltrotor” Osprey, the hybrid aircraft that combines features of both airplane and helicopter to accomplish what none of its forbears can do. It can lift off, hover, and land vertically yet it can cruise at high altitudes at jet speeds.

Real Solution

When the aircraft recently underwent an experimental tail-wiring upgrade, technicians at the rapid prototyping lab at Bell Xworx used a Fortus FDM (fused deposition modeling) system to build tough polycarbonate wiring conduits. Technicians installed the branching conduits in six mating sections inside the Osprey’s twin vertical stabilizers for on-the-ground testing of its wiring.

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