The United States Air Force is interested in 3D printing. The military branch is considering 3D printing as the means to keep its fading fleet. Furthermore, the organization is organizing a contest that will evaluate the viability of the method in its broader stock chain.
The Air Force has somewhat incorporated 3D printing into its functions since replacing parts on aging aircraft is strangely hard. The organization offers its suppliers years old 3dimensional drawings for certain pieces it needs. However, it rarely requires huge quantities of single items. This means makers have to make models for orders of three or two units.
Because of this, the Air Force has had to spend $10,000 to obtain new seat covers for its B-52s. Previously, the Defense Department had issues filling 10,000 unit orders for various pieces.
The organization can sufficiently source its fleet using old means. This is when it comes to logistics and economics. But the Air Force has found out it may optimize its supply chain through 3D printers. For some years now, the military wing has used 3D printing to make thousands of old-fashioned plastic and metal parts.
Currently, the military wants to know if the production style may deal with composites, circuit boards, and carbon fiber materials.
Additive manufacturing is both economical and efficient. This is according to Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Acquisition, Technology, And Logistics. The official revealed that the organization can now change $8,500 C-5 Supergalaxy toilet tapestries for $300.
Therefore, Roper has attempted to bring 3D printing further into the Air Force supply connection.
Roper arranged an event known as the Air Force Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This is in a bid to evaluate the viability of additive manufacturing as a full Air Forces sourcing resolution. The event is scheduled to take place on July 8 and 9 in Salt Lake City. The conference will experiment on the strength of different 3D printing university teams, military contractors, and startups.
The Air Force will try the event candidates through a sequence of production tests. In “open box of pieces floor exercise,” the organization will ask groups to copy certain pieces. This is minus access to its design specs. The teams will be assessed on their capacity to make components that match the military’s high levels.
There is another Advanced Manufacturing Olympics challenge, “approval sprints. It will need groups to confirm their 3D printed parts are as real as the initials.
This year, different established organizations and startups have exhibited the true ability of 3D printing. Certainly, this year has witnessed 3D printing in nearly all sectors from hair regrowth to medicine to low-cost homes. With the monetary support of the U.S. Army, the innovative manufacturing technique will reach new lengths in 2020.