About the AMPO

The Department of the Air Force established the Advanced Manufacturing Program Office (AMPO) within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) to scale organic capability and serve as the Air Force’s focal point for the application of AM in matters related to acquisition and sustainment.

The AMPO mission is to drive continuous integration of AM technologies through agile evaluation and scaling processes, integrating the best solutions for DoD and industry.

Chief AMPO (Vacant)
Capt. Jason Quadros, Deputy Chief AMPO
Mr. Mitch Shedden, Lead Engineer
Dr. Howard Sizek, Chief Engineer - Development

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Advanced Manufacturing Program Office (AMPO)

 How long does it take to print a component? 

It depends on complexity, overall size, material type, AM technology, print parameters for layer thicknesses, speed settings, etc.  Polymer parts are often within hours to a few days.  Metal parts commonly exceed 20+ hours with some requiring up to a week of printing time. 

 How long does it take to complete post-processing? 

This depends on part complexity, support structure requirements, usage, material, etc.  However, for polymer parts, post-processing can typically be performed within hours.  Metal parts typically require multiple days when post-processing is minimal, such as one heat treatment, removal from build platform, support structure removal, and minor finishing.  Metal part post-processing duration increases as additional and specialized methods are required, such as Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) which usually entails weeks of waiting due to job backlogs at the limited facilities capable of performing this process. 

 What considerations are made to evaluate return on investment (ROI) for AM components? 

The AMPO has developed a Part Assessment and Cost Tool (PACT) that will be incorporated into AGORA. The PACT is used to perform Cost-Benefit Analyses to determine ROIs for AM parts.  Sometimes there is a financial advantage to producing an AM part instead of procuring it through traditional sources. However, AM is often used to overcome Parts Obsolescence and Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) issues with a primary objective of providing aircraft readiness. 


 What is the approval path and timeline for an AM component? 

The AMPO works to develop Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for AM components and conducts testing and materials characterization along with machine and operator qualification to support approval of AM components. Ultimately, TDP approval is the responsibility of the Program Office (PO), and its timeline varies based on many factors such as progress of material characterization for the component in development, source of supply to produce AM components, qualification requirements for the component, and level of demand from the PO.  For a component with an already well-characterized material, short print durations, minimal qualification requirements, and a highly engaged and motivated PO, this timeline can be 3-4 weeks, but it commonly takes several months or more. 

 What is the AM Innovation Hub? 

The AM Innovation Hub is a Cloud One-based solution creating a collaboration space to share AM projects for tooling, jigs, fixtures, and other non-qualified Air Force items and parts.

 Will the AM Innovation Hub be a website that bases can use to share print files?  

The AM Innovation Hub will be released fall 2024 to allow units to share “non-airworthy, non-flying parts”.  Aircraft parts data must be maintained in tech data and authoritative systems (Teamcenter or site determined by platform’s engineer authority). The purpose of this is to maintain configuration and remove the risk of duplicate locations of tech data. 

 What is AGORA? 

Always Guaranteeing Operationally Ready Aircraft (AGORA) enables intelligent AM part candidate selection and leverages Teamcenter as a product lifecycle management foundation to manage the AM part development process.