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3D Printing Certification

U.S. Air Drive certifies initially Stratasys 3D printer for plane alternative sections


The United States Air Drive has certified a Stratasys F900 3D printer for use in the 60th Servicing Squadron at Travis Air Power Base (Travis AFB) in California. It is the to start with discipline-device locale in the Air Power to have a certified industrial-sized 3D printer, which is now approved to generate nonstructural and substitution aircraft parts. 

The Stratasys F900 was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local Air Pressure Sophisticated Technological innovation and Training Middle owing to the positive aspects of the technological know-how. Using Ultem 9085, the 60th Maintenance Squadron will implement the 3D printer to help save expense and time when obtaining powerful answers for creating crucial components.

“It provides us a ability that we’ve under no circumstances had before,” explained Grasp Sgt. John Higgs, 60th MXS plane metals technological know-how area chief. 

“There’s so many prospects out there to us proper now. We’re just scratching the area.”

An aircraft part prints on the Stratasys F900 3D printer. Photo via U.S. Air Force/Louis Briscese.
An aircraft part prints on the Stratasys F900 3D printer. Photograph via U.S. Air Force/Louis Briscese.

The Stratasys F900 and Ultem 9085

The F900 3D printer was unveiled by Stratasys at Rapid+TCT 2018 in a few variants: the F900, the F900 AICS (Plane Interiors Certification Option), and the F900 Pro. It represents the third technology of Stratasys’ flagship sequence of FDM 3D printers. The methods element an MTConnect-ready interface with stop-use solution level precision and repeatability, and have been used in industries these as aerospace, automotive and railway. With a develop size of 36 x 24 x 36 inches, the F900 was identified for Travis AFB’s operations simply because of its potential to create massive plastic areas. 

Ultem 9085 is an engineering-grade thermoplastic that has been earlier standardized for use in Airbus A350 XWB. A relative of high-performance PEEK and PEKK, the content has a one of a kind strength-to-excess weight ratio, along with flame resistant attributes that have been labeled for aerospace. Ultem 9085 provides a adaptable, dense and stronger choice to plastic for the 60th Servicing Squadron.

Certified Stratasys 3D printer saves time at Travis Air Force Base

Putting in the process at Travis AFB took a total of eight months, thanks to stringent specifications and essential training. The very first accepted challenge for the Stratasys F900 was 3D printed on August 12. The sections made in this initiative will be employed as replacements to the latrine covers aboard the C-5M Tremendous Galaxy plane. Generally, areas that are not integral to plane mission targets do not have a high precedence for alternative. This suggests that when these components need to have to be replaced, like the latrine handles, it will ordinarily acquire a though till the Air Power unit receives them. Making use of 3D printing certification, the unit can make the pieces by themselves without having obtaining to wait around. “The latrine handles we just printed commonly consider about a yr from the time they’ve been requested to the time they’ve been shipped,” added Higgs. “We printed two of the addresses in 73 several hours.”

Air Pressure experts supply products for 3D printing certification from a College of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI)-permitted on the web databases. 3 users of the 60th Maintenance Squadron ended up selected as the 1st experts in the Air Drive skilled to use the certified Stratasys F9000. One particular of them, Tech. Sgt. Rogelio Lopez, 60th MXS assistant aircraft metals technology section chief, has been on-board the challenge given that it started. Fired up by the willingness of the Air Power to employ new technological know-how at the area level, Lopez claimed, “The Air Drive continues to motivate Airmen to be innovative by getting new ways to streamline procedures and preserve means.”

Travis AFB has already begun acquiring requests from other bases in the Air Drive to 3D print parts and backfill materials, so that they can change their objects faster. At some point, the 60th Servicing Squadron hope to use the 3D printer for more than just aircraft components, relocating on to manufacturing merchandise for a selection of businesses. 

Latrine covers, the first aircraft parts authorized for use after being printed on the Stratasys F900. Photo via U.S. Air Force/Louis Briscese.
Latrine handles, the very first aircraft sections approved for use immediately after remaining printed on the Stratasys F900. Photograph by using U.S. Air Drive/Louis Briscese.

3D printing certification in the U.S. Air Drive

At Travis AFB, the Air Pressure industry unit has relied on 3D printing certification systems for its routine maintenance options on earlier occasions. In December 2018. the Air Foundation exposed its use of the CreaForm HandyScan 700 handheld 3D scanner to inspect plane injury. The scanner aided to lower routine maintenance time and set up itself as a key technological know-how to the unit’s operations. 

At the time it was also documented that Travis AFB was in the procedure of procuring two metallic and polymer 3D printers into its maintenance operations, for the immediate substitute of plane areas. Now possessing put in a certified Stratasys F900 3D printer, the Air Foundation has fulfilled its purpose of implementing additive production certification abilities. 

Somewhere else in the Air Power, the Dover Air Foundation in Delaware has applied 3D printing certification to enhance…