The U.S. Air Force has recently been exploring the capabilities of 3D Systems Figure 4 3D Production System, and last week they officially launched an initiative focusing on integrate additive manufacturing into their supply chain. The Air Force will now work with 3D Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK. The project will be headed by the University of Dayton Research and overseen by America Makes.

The project, titled The Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-cost Sustainment (MAMLS), is funded through the Air Force Laboratory and will focus on recreating aircraft components that are no longer produced using 3D Systems Figure 4 3D Printing System. The Figure 4 is a complete 3D production system which can produce parts faster, in custom quantities and cheaper than traditional production methods. This will ultimately result in less maintenance time, and more flying for the Air Force’s aging fleet or aircraft. In addition to this, the Figure 4 eliminates the need for an part warehouse because the desired parts can be produce on demand.

“Additive manufacturing is the perfect lean solution because it avoids the need for time-consuming and costly tooling,” said 3D Systems Co-Founder and CTO Chuck Hull. “We are pleased to support the Air Force in its effort to reduce production costs and delivery times through Figure 4, our novel additive manufacturing technology. We look forward to our continued collaboration with UDRI and other partners – helping expand their arsenal of Figure 4 applications.”

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