BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Officials from Louisiana State University at Shreveport visited the 307th Bomb Wing here, March 11 to collaborate on the use of industrial 3D scanning and printing to generate training aids for the B-52 Stratofortress and areas throughout the wing.
LSUS is home to the Cyber Collaboratory, a design and learning space where students, faculty, and industry partners can design and implement various concepts through the use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and 3D printing. The collaboration with LSUS was spearheaded by LR Werx, a 307th BW initiative created to drive innovation at the local level.
Maj. Brandon Wolf, LR Werx director, played a leading role in bringing LSUS to the 307th BW. He explained that the collaboration between the groups is mutually beneficial.
“LSUS gets the opportunity to train their students and graduate students, while we get access to their experience and equipment to enhance our training,” he said.
During their visit to the 307th BW, the LSUS team used a portable 3D scanner for the first time to create images of areas in the cockpit of a B-52 Stratofortress. They also scanned parts for aircrew flight equipment and met with wing personnel to discuss future projects.
The power and portability of the hand-held scanner were instrumental during the visit, allowing the Cyber Collaboratory team to get imagery of B-52 components without having to remove them from the jet.
“The scanner is a multi-faceted tool that allows us to make 3D models for VR ingestion said Scott Isaacs, LSUS Cyber Collaboratory director. It also allow us to get imagery of parts on site so we can recreate them.”
The Cyber Collaboratory’s ability to 3D print using filament, resin, dual-extrusion, metal, and carbon fiber creates the potential to replace parts on the B-52 that are difficult to find or no longer in production.
“The potential impact for Barksdale is off the charts,” said Jill Eaves, Project Coordinator for the LSUS Veterans Resource Center and part of the Cyber Collaboratory team. “Instead of trying to source parts that are no longer made, we can come over, scan it and replicate it in-house right across the river.”
LR Werx was formed partly in response U.S Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Charles Q. Brown’s memo, “Accelerate Change or Lose”, which outlined the need for faster innovation across all levels of the service.