Apr 21, 2018
3-D printer keeps F-35B flying during USS Wasp deployment
When a plastic bumper for a landing-gear door wore out this month on an F-35B Lightning II embarked on the amphibious assault ship, a 3-D printer was used to whip up a new one.
The Iwakuni-based jet from Fighter Attack Squadron 121 later flew successfully with the new part, a Marine statement said.
Called “additive manufacturing,” the process from Naval Air Systems Command allowed the Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 31 to create the new bumper and get it approved for use within days, the statement said. Otherwise, they would have had to replace the entire door assembly, which is expensive and time consuming.