Aerospace Manufacturing and Design: Transforming MRO with 3D Printing

| The Essentium Team

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Essentium and the U.S. Air Force are developing and deploying advanced additive manufacturing (AM) solutions for faster aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), including flight-certified parts for military aircraft, ground vehicles. What began as a prototyping concept, 3D printing has become an essential tool in aerospace and an important technology to scale production, develop fully functional parts, and lower part costs.

This is especially critical for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), which is under constant pressure to accelerate aircraft repairs, reduce costs, and get aircraft back in the air quickly. Plus, for many aging aircraft, replacement parts are scarce, and it can be difficult to find manufacturers willing to resume production for parts that may not be reordered for many years. To address these challenges, the USAF has begun a multi-year collaborative contract with Texas-based Essentium to drive development and deployment of advanced additive manufacturing (AM) solutions for applications in tooling; ground support; maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO); and flight-certified parts for military aircraft and ground vehicles through the Air Force and the National Guard Bureau (NGB). Their big push is for sustainment and lifecycle management of aging aircraft.

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