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Additive Manufacturing in the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office

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The Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) was established to identify technologies for sustaining Air Force systems, apply them to specific platforms and then scale them across the enterprise. The Advanced Manufacturing Program Office (AMPO) was established within the RSO to focus on additive manufacturing and the technologies required to support the use of AM in the Air Force. The AMPO’s primary mission is to leverage mature, new and emerging AM technology to reduce operating and sustainment costs and improve fleet readiness for the Air Force. A focal point of the AMPO is the application of additive manufacturing to produce hard to source components. This presentation will highlight the efforts of the AMPO to establish an AM capability in both metals and polymers for the Air Force. Presentation topics include partnerships, generation of AM data to support engineering and design as well as airworthiness considerations. This includes selection of materials, characterization of the printed materials and the generation of data to enable use of AM for production of aerospace components. Some recent AM successes in both polymers and metals as well as remaining challenges will also be discussed. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the efforts taken by the U.S. Air Force to gain airworthiness through material and part qualification.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the U.S. Air Force to understand and possibly participate in future partnerships.
  • Describe the importance of material development and qualification in aerospace AM production.

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