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AFRL - America Makes Signs Cooperative Agreement to Advance 3-D Printing


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) recently signed a five-year cooperative agreement (CA) with America Makes—National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute to advance the 3-D printing industry, otherwise known as additive manufacturing. The first research project under the new CA will focus on improving the efficiency of aircraft part replacements.

According to America Makes program manager Dr. Dennis Butcher, the purpose of this first project is “to improve the efficiency of Air Force air logistics complexes in rapidly replacing parts for legacy and other military aircraft by developing, demonstrating and guiding the transition to the use of additive manufacturing and other types of related advanced manufacturing technology.”

As principal leader of the newly formed team, the University of Dayton Research Institute will lead the 25-member team consisting of representatives of academia, industry and the Air Force, all located in the northeast Ohio area. Youngstown State University will also co-lead the technical aspects of the project.

While the major players of the project are based in the northeast Ohio region, additional Air Force bases in Georgia, Utah and Oklahoma, as well as other Department of Defense bases and depots will work with the team to complete the project mission.

To solve the issues that can arise when maintaining aircraft, aircraft support vehicles and machinery, the team will study, research and develop how 3-D printing and related rapid-prototyping methods can best serve in sustaining an aircraft fleet for years to come.

To read more about the AFRL—America Makes public-private partnership project, visit http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/882363/af-researching-advanced-manufacturing-techniques-for-replacement-parts.aspx.

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