NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas (Nov. 21, 2022)– November 14-18 Engineers from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Building Momentum Chief Operating Officer and Stratasys Regional Support Specialist conducted additive manufacturing training for Marines and Sailors assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Fort Worth. Additive manufacturing is the construction of 3-Dimensional (3D) objects from a digital model. Attendees received instruction, assembled, and designed 3D aircraft support components on the newly acquired and highly anticipated, additive manufacturing production systems. The implementation of this cutting edge technology makes the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS-41) the first 4th Marine Aircraft Wing Unit with this capability.
Captain Jose Duron assigned to MALS-41, was responsible for the coordination and implementation of the 3D printers—a team effort and no small feat. Weighing about 6 tons, the Tier 2 Stratasys F900 has the largest build size of any fortress system.
“About a year ago, is when we started working on the facility requirements for the Tier 2 Stratasys F900 to be installed. Several facility changes were implemented to meet requirements, including electrical work, an air compressor modification, and verification of environmental regulations,” explained Duron. “It was a lot of work with Navy Facilities in order to make this happen, they were really great about coming out and modifying the facilities to get everything installed and operational.”
3D printing alleviates many mission impact constraints; such as, supply chain issues, procurement of antiquated, or in some cases, obsolete aircraft parts. Allowing service members to have parts readily available, side-stepping bottlenecked supply chains.
“Being able to download and print parts immediately, is a stepping stone to improve our parts procurement process. Especially, when we have situations where parts are not available,” explained Duron. “When we have older aircraft many times manufacturers have stopped making parts for those aircraft because they have gone on to making parts for newer platforms, so they are no longer available. These production systems give us an opportunity to recreate those parts and stay mission ready on those aircraft.”
NAVAIR Mechanical Engineer Austin Roberts, shared about what systems were deployed during the inaugural event.
“This week we are deploying a few different systems that offer a wide range of capabilities. A Tier 2 system, the Stratasys F900, which is your industrial polymer printer. The squadron is also receiving two versions of the Ultimaker S5 desktop printer, the Tier 1L (land) and Tier 1X (expeditionary) both of which print PETG, ABS, and Nylon,” said Roberts.
Part designs are made available through Joint Technical Data Integration (JTDI), a web-enabled delivery management system where all approved technical data packages are stored. If a product is not available through JTDI, users can submit an additive manufacturing request form. Then NAVAIR engineers will determine the approval/or disapproval of the component. Once approval is granted the necessary engineering is complete, and the product becomes available to all JTDI users throughout the world.
Charles Devine, Stratasys’ Regional Support Specialist, served 20 years in the Navy as a Naval Aviation Electronics Technician giving him tangible experience with the benefits that the Stratasys F900 has to offer.
“The F900 really has a lot of potential for the Naval Aviation community to help save costs, time, and really create a whole new field of opportunity as far as supporting, not only aircraft, but the support systems for aircraft. For years, keeping up with support for aging systems has been a major issue,” said Devine. “Now, when parts are not available you can engineer and make your own. This is great because it gives our armed forces opportunities we never had before, especially with aging systems.”
The week’s efforts were a culmination of a commitment to recognizing a need, and working with multiple stakeholders to create a solution. Marines, Sailors, Aviators and Maintenance personnel will all benefit from this equipment and training for many years to come.
|Date Posted:||11.21.2022 13:26|
|Location:||FORT WORTH, TX, US|
This work, MALS 41 Leads with Cutting Edge Technology, by Sandy Owens, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.
Leave a Reply