3D-printed training ‘bombs’ drastically cut costs for US Air Force in England


A 3D printer has slashed the time and cost required to get explosive training devices to the experts at RAF Lakenheath who need them as they prepare for deployments.

Staff Sgt. William Riddle has been using a 3D printer to produce dummy improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars that are used to train the explosive ordnance disposal airmen with the Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing at Lakenheath, cutting the cost and time of having the training devices shipped from the U.S.

“A decent year’s worth of ordnance training for a flight of 25 airmen costs about $60,000” when the dummy weapons are made and shipped from the U.S., Riddle said.

But using a 3D printer, the cost of producing the “weapons” falls by 96%, the 48th Fighter Wing said in a statement.

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Source: Stars & Stripes