F-22 Stealth Fighter Receives First New 3D-Printed Part

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By: Jay Sikka

The U.S. Air Force has printed and installed a new titanium replacement piece for the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. This could lead to an era of 3D printed airplanes and fighter planes. Originally made from aluminum, the parts are replaced 80 percent of the time during Raptor maintenance. The new replacement part is made from titanium powder and uses a laser-based powder bed fusion process to build the part layer by layer.

This is related to engineering because a 3D printed part was used to replace an old part on the fighter plane.