AM Energy

Air Force Cloud One’s First 3D Printing and Advanced Manufacturing App Goes Live

Electronics
AMR Military

Share this Article

Last week, the U.S. Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) Advanced Manufacturing Program Office (AMPO) officially went live with the Part Assessment and Cost Tool (PACT), the first advanced manufacturing application available on Air Force Cloud One. Launched in 2017 and managed by Air Force as a “one-stop shop” for cloud computing services, Cloud One is available to anyone in the Department of Defense (DoD).

Similar to the digital inventory platforms offered by a number of additive manufacturing (AM) and software as a service (SaaS) enterprises, PACT assesses uploaded part files for their viability as candidates to be produced with advanced manufacturing techniques. The AMPO’s advanced manufacturing capabilities primarily involve all the various forms of AM, especially powder bed fusion (PBF), as well as cold spray and directed energy deposition (DED).

Specifically, PACT grades every part candidate regarding “supply chain impact,” compatibility with the AMPO’s repertoire of advanced manufacturing techniques, and return on investment (ROI).

In a February 2023 press release about Cloud One, Todd Wieser, chief technology officer for US Air Force Special Operations Command, said, “Using Cloud One allows our personnel and teams to collaborate securely both at the tactical edge and at the strategic level; both in-garrison and deployed. Cloud One’s ability to run on many different platforms and its feature set enables us to reduce security risks and operate successfully.”

In a press release about PACT’s going live on Cloud One, Daniel Dismuke, RSO AMPO Digital Enabler Program Manager, said, “It’s the first in a series of applications to be deployed to Cloud One. It establishes a foundation to rapidly deploy future [advanced manufacturing] capabilities to Cloud One.”

Although cloud-enabled distributed manufacturing has long been envisioned as one of the ideal deployments of AM, the state of the technology hasn’t yet supported that potential. On the other hand, the fact that the branch of the US military that has historically been most supportive to the buildup of AM just went live with its first AM application suggests a shift is on the horizon.

It is, of course, just one of the many examples suggesting such a shift, with the recently-published report by Additive Manufacturing Research, “Additive Manufacturing for Military and Defense“, estimating that the DoD will spend $300 million on 3D printers in 2023. Going forward, it will be just as crucial for industry observers to track DoD spending on supply chain digitalization software applications, in order to gauge the DoD’s AM progress.

Along those lines, one of the most under-the-radar government contracts in this space that I’ve written about this year was the Air Force’s award of a $4.6 billion contract to government services giant Amentum in February 2023, to digitize the US military’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Although that contract itself goes far beyond AM, companies in the AM sector should nonetheless keep their eyes on such a well-funded push to increase the DoD’s capacity to digitize its supply chains. The more applications like PACT that are released, the likelier the chances that AM will become a centerpiece of those digitization efforts, rather than just one tool amongst many.

Image courtesy of US Air Force

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: February 25, 2024

3D Printing News Briefs, February 24, 2024: Large-Format Metal AM, Personalized Medicine, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Materialise Expands Jaw Surgeries with End-to-End Medical 3D Printing Treatment

Imagine the discomfort of experiencing pain every time you eat, or the constant radiating pain in your head due to this condition—it would be incredibly distressing. One reason why joint...

Featured

Navigating China’s 3D Printing Industry in 2024

China’s 2024 economic landscape presents a complex matrix of challenges and opportunities, deeply influenced by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory adjustments, and the global economic environment. Amid these...

3D Printing News Briefs, February 17, 2024: Shot Blasting, Service Bureaus, & More

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting out with post-processing, as SKZ Würzburg is using a shot blast system from AM Solutions for its research. Moving on to business,...

Farsoon Expands U.S. 3D Printing Presence with Additive Plus Partnership on the West Coast

As members of China’s additive manufacturing (AM) sector expand further into the West, one of the nation’s leading firms, Farsoon Technologies, has announced a strategic partnership with Additive Plus. This...