Currently, the Air Force relies on a small pool of suppliers for additive manufacturing printers and technologies. The printer shoot-out will showcase the capabilities of existing printers as well as new and emerging printers as they go head to head to print parts.
At This Event
Pathfinders discussing advanced manufacturing and more from across industry, government and academia.
Panel and town hall style discussions with thought leaders in industry, government, and academia.
Virtual training opportunities for registered participants.
Experiential space to highlight and demonstrate technology breakthroughs and advancements. Open to industry partners, small businesses and academia.
Virtual booth space for government, industry partners, small businesses, and academia.
Unique technical challenges designed to solve some of the Air Force's most significant sustainment issues.
The Air Force is constantly looking for better performing, more cost effective, and more reliable technology to produce parts that are required by field units. From prototype to end-use parts, additive manufacturing has advanced in both quality and speed of production. In this challenge, teams will recreate a 3D printed part from an existing Technical Data Package while demonstrating accuracy, skill, and completeness.
Box of Parts Challenge
3D printing is revolutionizing parts availability by reengineering broken parts or parts that don’t have existing drawing packages. Advanced manufacturing techniques, like 3D printing, enable field units to optimize part design, use fewer materials and produce parts more quickly without compromising durability or quality. In this challenge, teams will demonstrate 3D scanning and printing technology’s ability to accurately reengineer a part without an existing plan.
Aluminum and polymer materials are widely used for advanced manufacturing techniques. In this challenge, teams will identify and demonstrate new developments in aluminum, polymer and combination or hybrid technologies to push the envelope. The challenge is designed to test the strength of materials, ingenuity of design, and ease of use of proposed solutions.
There is a pressing need to rapidly deploy engineering solutions across the Air Force. Advanced manufacturing technologies are capable of rapid production; however, our ability to maximize benefit is sometimes hindered by lengthy certification processes and timelines. In this challenge, teams will apply innovative methods to accelerate Government approval timelines by identifying creative qualification strategies for new materials, machines, and components.
Supply Chain Challenge
In the last few years, additive manufacturing has moved far beyond its original prototyping applications and is now used in Supply Chain Management (SCM). AM’s impact on SCM can take many forms, including reduced material waste, increased production flexibility, and the ability to decentralize production. In this challenge, teams will solve an Air Force supply chain problem set requiring the use of novel advanced manufacturing concepts.
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