U.S. Air Force installs 3D printed parts on early warning aircraft

by:Gewinn     2022-04-25
Since 2012, the research and application of 3D printing technology has gradually been sought after by various countries. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is based on computer models, using powder metal or other materials to generate three-dimensional printing layer by layer. It is a new 'digital manufacturing technology' to construct objects in a physical way. At present, 3D printing technology has been widely used in many military fields. Because 3D printing can realize parts that cannot be made by traditional processes, in addition, 3D printing also reduces manufacturing costs. For example, the US Air Force has already begun to gradually apply it to the manufacture of ordnance parts. A few days ago, the U.S. Air Force used 3D printed parts for the first time on the E-3 early warning aircraft. Although this part is not a very important part of the aircraft, it is just a plastic end cap for the seat armrest, but this also represents the beginning of the US Air Force's use of 3D printing technology for military aircraft, and the daily maintenance of military aircraft and cost savings will start to a very important role. In June 2015, the U.S. Air Force's 552nd Maintenance Squadron purchased a Fortus 400mc 3D printer from 3D printing giant Stratasys on which the part was made, costing 10 minutes and $2.50, compared to conventional methods. It needs $8, so it can save the US military nearly $1,000 a year. Although it looks insignificant, it has great potential for development, because there are other parts that can be made in the same way. If 3D printing technology can be promoted, Not just in the military field, but other manufacturing industries will also save a lot of money as a result. In addition to the E-3 AWACS components, Air Force manufacturing has also developed two high-strength molds through 3D printing technology that, along with the pressurized water jet system, will be a new way to cut spare air duct brackets. In practical applications, the biggest benefit of 3D printing is that it shortens the processing time for each bracket, which originally took only 8 hours, but only about 30 minutes after using 3D printing technology. Compared with traditional technologies, the most prominent advantage of 3D printing technology is that parts of any shape can be generated directly from computer graphics data without machining any molds, thereby greatly shortening the production cycle. In addition, in terms of shaping, 3D printing Technology also has the unique advantage of producing shapes that traditional technology cannot, making it easier to produce complex products such as aircraft wings and heat exchangers. In addition, the use of 3D printing technology in the military field can greatly save materials. In the traditional production of military equipment, the raw materials are cut, ground, corroded, melted and other processes. In this process, 90% of the raw materials will be wasted. Different from the traditional process, the application of 3D printing technology allows spare parts Production can be directly based on computer graphics data, through the method of adding materials layer by layer to 'print out' high-precision equipment or accessories, and obtain materials on demand. There is almost no waste in the production process. It can be seen that this is also the US Air Force's favor of 3D. The reason for printing technology.
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