All three Services of the Australian Defence Force plan to add additive manufacturing capabilities and capacity across their existing operations. However, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has also engaged in the design of underpinning support systems for new, agile ways of working. The vision for these systems is that they complement established trades and production operations whilst stepping outside conventional manufacturing workflow. This presentation describes the initial stages of the RAAF's step-change research. The methodology framing the project described by this talk is,Transition Research. The objective of the research includes creating ways of operating to maximise the use of additive manufacturing in the RAAF context.
Designing for complexity with 3D printing requires more than a technical response. Currently there is a clear divide between those solving the technical challenges of additive manufacturing, and those focused on its role as an aspirational tool for society to achieve a greater democratisation of making, and to leverage the benefits this is hoped to deliver. Yet a key component in the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing arguably lies in co-creation not only of products, but of structures and systems that support a distributed design and manufacturing approach, informed by both technical knowledge and social sciences. This is the case not only for small enterprise, but also for large, complex organisations where additive manufacturing has more than one role.
Squadron Leader Christopher Kourloufas
Chris is an Aeronautical Engineering Officer and has been a part of the team at the Air and Space Power Centre situated within Air Force Headquarters; working as the Research and Engagement Officer from early 2022.
Kourlouafs is currently leading the RAAF organisational reform project, Smart Manufacture in the RAAF, on behalf of the Director General of Logistics.