viernes, 5 de mayo de 2017

The defense industry is expanding the use of 3D printing

In 2012, the Pentagon established the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, Ohio, and many companies are using 3D printing more regularly in the manufacturing process. This technology, which makes manufacturing more agile and wastes very little material, is already being used aboard the USS Essex, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship. In words of Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “The crew has printed everything from plastic syringes to oil tank caps, to the silhouettes of planes that are used on the mock-up of the flight deck to keep the flight deck organized”

Actually, the Pentagon is using 3D Printers and 3D Production Systems across the military services for multiple purposes not only in the R&D labs but also in the battlefield: "When needed, an item can be printed from an electronic blueprint or scanning an existing part. Just the U.S. Navy has about 70 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, projects at dozens of sites" Winnefeld said.

Regarding private companies, defense giant Lockheed Martin is using 3D printers to manufacture jigs and fixtures used to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: “We use hundreds of 3D-printed tools for F-35 manufacturing, such as bracket locators and drill templates,” Lockheed spokesman Mark Johnson said. 

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