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additive manufacturing

Air Force Pushes 3D Printing To Boost Readiness

Posted by Theresa Hitchens on


Air Force LCMC is working to ensure that far-flung depots eventually can print their own parts — with a recent first being Travis AFB’s using their brand, spanking new laser printer to print those toilet seat covers built of a new-fangled polymer from it’s own brand new printer. 

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Soft Robotics: The Road To Iron Man

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Iron Man-style powered armor has proven impractical. New flexible, wearable electronics offer an alternative path to help the infantry.

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Not Cutting F-35 Buy, But Depot Structure May Change: CSAF Goldfein

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Air Force does not plan to cut its planned purchase of 1,763 F-35As — in fact, it’s not even not considering doing so — but it is pushing hard to bring down the sustainment costs of Lockheed Martin‘s prize program, the Air Force Chief of Staff told reporters this morning. “We are all… Keep reading →

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Marines Test Killer Hovercraft, Wooden Glider & 3D Printers For The Battlefield

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


QUANTICO: A hovercraft that shoots salvoes of rockets. A speedboat that turns into a submarine. A mobile 3D printing factory. A big wooden box with wings (yes, really). And, of course, more drones than you can shake a stick at (because they swarm). These are just a few of the roughly 100 technologies the Marine… Keep reading →

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New T-X Airplanes Would Add $1B To Trainer Bill: Lockheed

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Force Comment WASHINGTON: Lockheed Martin is pressing the Air Force to change how it evaluates T-X bids, arguing that new aircraft will cost the service close to $1 billion more over six years and delay Initial Operating Capability by several years. The calculus behind this assertion appears pretty simple. New aircraft require structural… Keep reading →

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First Osprey Flight With Critical 3D Printed Part

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It’s one small part for an aircraft engine, one giant leap for 3D printing. The Navy has announced a Marine MV-22 made the sea services’ first successful flight with a “flight critical” component built by additive manufacturing. Specifically, in the test at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, the Osprey’s engine nacelle contained a 3D printed titanium link, small… Keep reading →

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Pawlikowski On Air Force Offset Strategy: F-35s Flying Drone Fleets

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: Ellen Pawlikowski helps decide what weapons the Air Force buys and manages the buying process, so when the lieutenant general says she likes autonomy and 3-D printing as the most promising capabilities for her service to develop as part of the new offset strategy, it’s worth listening. “This is Ellen Pawlikowski speaking,” she says in… Keep reading →

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Navy Warship Is Taking 3D Printer To Sea; Don’t Expect A Revolution

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The U.S. Navy has put a 3D printer on a warship for the first time. That’s a small revolution but don’t expect world-changing results any time soon. Just ask Lt. Benjamin Kohlmann, a fighter pilot and member of the Chief of Naval Operation’s Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC), a handpicked handful of junior officers and… Keep reading →

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‘Throw A Frag Grenade’ Into Acquisition Or ‘Do No Harm:’ Navy Struggles With Innovation

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL HARBOR: It’s easy to call for innovation. It’s hard to do. At this week’s Sea-Air-Space conference here, just 10 miles down the Potomac from the Pentagon, admirals and junior officers alike wrestled with the right balance between speed and safety, between it taking hours to 3-D print a new design and many months to certify… Keep reading →

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3D Printing: Imagine A Brigade Producing Parts On Battlefield

Posted by Jonathan Jeckell on


Additive manufacturing, known to the public as 3D printing, may profoundly improve combat readiness and the defense industrial base far more than imagined by most proponents. But the Pentagon must account for the way different organizations measure performance, or it will be doomed to long delays and costly failure. Additive manufacturing can be used to… Keep reading →

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