Air Force certifies first 3-D printed nonstructural aircraft parts

The 60th Maintenance Squadron is the first field unit in the U.S. Air Force to be certified with an industrial-sized, 3-D printer that is authorized to produce nonstructural aircraft parts. The Stratasys F900 3-D printer is capable of printing plastic parts up to 36 x 24 x 36 inches, uses a material called Ultem 9085 that is more flexible, dense and stronger than typical plastic.

The printer, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force Advanced Technology and Training Center, offers new opportunities to create needed parts while saving time and money.