Executive Briefings

Air Force Sees 3D Printing as Vital to Making Aircraft Parts

Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma is the home of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC), the center of the Air Force Materiel Command's (AFMC) aircraft, engine, missile, software and avionics management and maintenance centers.

Air Force Sees 3D Printing as Vital to Making Aircraft Parts

The complex manages the development, maintenance and repair of a wide variety of the United States military fleet of aircraft and technology, as well as a range of accessory components, the development of operational flight programs, testing equipment and industrial automation software. Essentially, if something in the military flies or works with something that flies, then the OC-ALC is responsible for making sure that it continues to fly or work with something that flies.

In an effort to modernize and improve their ability to maintain their aircraft, the Air Force and OC-ALC is developing a strategic plan to incorporate 3D printing technology into almost every aspect of its current air power sustainment mission. The OC-ALC expects 3D printing to play an important role in their evolving workflow, including the manufacturing of aircraft engine parts as well as 3D printing modern electronic components being designed by the 76th Software Maintenance Group. The new plan is part of the Air Force's "Complex of the Future" strategic forecast, which includes several goals to fully integrate additive manufacturing technology within the next few decades.

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The complex manages the development, maintenance and repair of a wide variety of the United States military fleet of aircraft and technology, as well as a range of accessory components, the development of operational flight programs, testing equipment and industrial automation software. Essentially, if something in the military flies or works with something that flies, then the OC-ALC is responsible for making sure that it continues to fly or work with something that flies.

In an effort to modernize and improve their ability to maintain their aircraft, the Air Force and OC-ALC is developing a strategic plan to incorporate 3D printing technology into almost every aspect of its current air power sustainment mission. The OC-ALC expects 3D printing to play an important role in their evolving workflow, including the manufacturing of aircraft engine parts as well as 3D printing modern electronic components being designed by the 76th Software Maintenance Group. The new plan is part of the Air Force's "Complex of the Future" strategic forecast, which includes several goals to fully integrate additive manufacturing technology within the next few decades.

Read Full Article

Air Force Sees 3D Printing as Vital to Making Aircraft Parts