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3D Printing Can Keep Aging Air Force Aircraft Flying

Glenn House and his colleagues spent more than four years making a new toilet for the B-1 Lancer. The challenge wasn?t fitting the john into the cockpit (it went behind the front left seat), but ensuring that every part could handle life aboard a plane that can pull 5 Gs, break the sound barrier, and spend hours in wildly fluctuating temperatures. The end result didn?t just have to work. It had to work without rattling, leaking, or revealing itself to enemy radar. Getting it okayed for use aboard the bomber was just as complex as making it. ?Getting a part approved can take years,? says House, the cofounder and president of Walpole, Massachusetts-based 2Is Inc.

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