LOCAL NEWS

Hill Air Force Base Airmen Use 3-D Printing for F-35 Parts

Jul 23, 2018, 3:40 PM | Updated: 9:05 pm

OGDEN, Utah —  Airmen at Hill Air Force Base are going high-tech in hopes of keeping America’s most advanced fighter aircraft in the air and hoping to save some money along the way.

To help keep the F-35’s in the air, the 388th Maintenance Group and Enhancement Program has turned to 3-D printing.

Tech Sgt. Scott Mathews, assistant manager of the 388th Maintenance Group’s Air Force Repair and Enhancement program, displays a model F-35A he made in the testing of a 3-D printer. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Todd Cromar)

The printer makes grommets, fasteners, housing boxes and cable splinters for the F-35. And it’s all made out of composite plastics and carbon fiber.

Tech Sgt. Scott Mathews, assistant manager of the 388th Maintenance Groups Air Force Repair and Enhancement program said, “With this printer we’re capable of printing all the way down to a 10 micron layer, which is insanely thin.”

Hill Air Force Base recently acquired the printer with the hope of getting parts faster and driving down costs for replacement parts.

“Especially when you start looking at all of the pieces, parts of getting it from the initial manufacturer, through to the end consumer, the eventual cost of that ends of being exponential,” said Mathews. Possibly thousands of dollars could be saved.

Mathews also said, “When you look at all the different parts you can manufacture, once we get the approval and the go-ahead to actually really start ramping things up, oh it just boggles the mind of the things we could manufacture.”

Every new part will need to be tested, proven and approved to ensure quality and safety before being put to use.

Mathews said its like getting paid to tinker around in the garage, “There’s that sense of pride, knowing that you played at least a minuscule role in getting those airborne and keeping them airborne.”

 

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Cottonwood High lines up for a free kick following a fair catch against Jordan High. (KSL Sports)...
Andrew Adams

Coach, kicker & official reflect on Cottonwood High’s rare, game-winning play

Cottonwood defeated Jordan High after the Colts attempted and converted a free kick for three points with 12 seconds left following a fair catch on a punt.
4 months ago
...
Karah Brackin

Utah Veterans head to Washington D.C. for ‘trip of a lifetime’

75 veterans left Salt Lake City for Washington D.C. Tuesday morning.
4 months ago
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, introduces himself as a member of a n...
Ashley Imlay, KSL.com & Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Supreme Court declines to hear Utah gun rights activist’s appeal to overturn bump stock ban

A prominent Utah gun rights activist has lost his bid to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal bump stock ban.
4 months ago
Yvette Rodier, shooting survivor...
Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

LETTER PODCAST: Victim says bullet wounds were easiest part of recovery

When Yvette Rodier woke up in a hospital, she knew, even before anyone told her, that her friend, Zachary Snarr, was dead.
4 months ago
Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
4 months ago
FILE...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Hill Air Force Base Airmen Use 3-D Printing for F-35 Parts