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Air Force issues national call for 3D scanner


Additive manufacturing and computer design experts, the Air Force needs your ideas. As part of a national effort to harness the speed and flexibility of additive manufacturing — often called “3D printing” — the Air Force this month issued a call for a “cutting-edge automated 3-D scanning system” that can quickly scan complex parts to produce three-dimensional models.


The idea is simple: Help the warfighter quickly reproduce or reverse-engineer crucial parts — parts that in some cases may be years old and perhaps no longer readily available. The Air Force is looking for solutions fast. White papers on the subject are due Jan. 25, with a request for proposal scheduled to be issued Feb. 4. Proposals from interested experts are due March 5, and the Air Force expects to choose a solution by the end of March. (The commercial solutions opening can be found at or at this link .) Air Force leaders have long been sold on the power of 3D printing. Will Roper, Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, has talked of making critical spare parts for weapon systems of all kinds with 3D printing. “Additive and advanced manufacturing (has) been going like […]

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