Hill Air Force Base AM office supports maintenance operation

December 9, 2022

809th Maintenance Support Squadron engineering technician monitors an AM process at Hill Air Force Base (Courtesy US Air Force/R Nial Bradshaw)
809th Maintenance Support Squadron engineering technician monitors an AM process at Hill Air Force Base (Courtesy US Air Force/R Nial Bradshaw)

The RAPID (Reverse engineering, Advanced manufacturing, Prototyping, Innovation and Design) unit in the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA, is reported to be helping the US Air Force replace hard to find parts and tools via three-dimensional modelling, designing tooling and Additive Manufacturing. Based on customer surveys, it is approximated that the unit saved customers over $1 million last fiscal year, and about 12-15 work hours per project.

“We can print inexpensively with cheap plastic to validate specifications before the part is manufactured in expensive metals,” stated Taylor Gittins, RAPID supervisor. “This not only saves money but also helps improve the quality and lead time of the manufactured parts.”

The unit has over twenty AM machines with different capabilities, including those for polymer and metal Additive Manufacturing using technologies such as Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), and Vat Stereolithography.


In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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