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Ohio-Based USAF Station to Purchase New 3D Printer

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The 910th Maintenance Group, operating at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, has received funds worth $72K to purchase a new 3D printer and further implement the use of additive manufacturing.

The group will procure an AON3D printer to advance additive manufacturing work done in collaboration with Air Force Research Laboratory, Youngstown State University, AF Life Cycle Management Center and other partnered entities, the Defense Logistics Agency said Tuesday.

USAF provided the budget for the printer through the AFWERX Squadron Innovation Fund. The printer's purchase will help the group expand its partnerships towards the development of advanced manufacturing in the Air Force.

“This printer has the capability to print the world’s strongest polymers, such as PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), which is widely regarded as the world’s strongest thermoplastic, along with Ultem, which is what the Air Force has certified to be approved for the production of non-structural aircraft components,” said Chief Master Sgt. Darin Wesoloski, fabrication flight chief at the 910th Maintenance Squadron and a 3D printing advocate.

YARS has so far used 3D printing to maintain C-130H Hercules airlift aircraft. The station will make efforts to certify its upcoming AON3D printer for USAF use.