Easy Prototyping Services In The Military

By: Low Jeremy

Computers are focal point of our highly technological civilization. It is because of the creation of computers that we have been able to progress globally. Computers have made our lives easer by providing automated solutions to tasks that would other wise take us forever to accomplish manually.

Computers are more than the piece of equipment on your desk in which you type on. Computers have a great influence in the development of the manufacturing industry.

Prototypes are an important step in the manufacturing process. It is in this process that we will encounter computer numerical control or CNC prototyping. In CNC prototyping, a computer controller basically translates the design data and produces a 3D output of that data through a mechanical device.

This whole process has revolutionized the manufacturing process because previously, prototypes were difficult to produce because it consumed a lot of time, effort and cost to make. Now with CNC prototyping, complex 3D virtual designs by design engineers are easily translated actual 3D models with straight and curved lines easily replicated automatically. With CNC prototyping machines, producing prototypes are fast, easy and cost effective.

Now that CNC prototyping processes are available for most prototyping problems, the manufacturing process is greatly sped up. The savings in time and effort allow greater productivity by allowing design engineers to work on more with less time needed. This means a greater and faster turn over within a shorter amount of time. This of course then directly translates into the bottom line and profits for the business.

Sometimes, there is need for more than one CNC prototyping machine to produce the various components of a prototype. In this case, a series of CNC prototyping machines are grouped together and in most cases, these CNC prototyping machines are controlled by computer aided manufacturing or CAM software packages.

It is this CAM software package that aids the design engineer in deciding what types of tools, processes and paths in manufacturing are to be used. After this, the process becomes almost completely automated.

With continuous technological advancements in this area of CNC prototyping, it won't be long before the whole process is made even easier and more convenient. Thanks to the aid of machines run by computers, there won't be much need for too much human interference in the prototyping process. This in turn, speeds up the actual manufacturing process. Which in turn, makes things easier for everyone.

Nothing is constant except for change. This is the reason that government and those in the private sector always strive to achieve new heights in the development of better machines and equipment. A very good example is the military. Each branch of the service uses weapons and equipment to get a job done. The government does not only set a budget to arm and feed the troops but a huge portion goes to research and development.

The military may have a department to conduct tests but those who do most of the work are outside contractors who over prototyping services. For example, if the United States Air Force wants a new fighter, various people are asked to bid on the project. In fact, Boeing and Lockheed Martin each made a version and the top brass will then decide which one will go into production.

The project took almost 10 years to complete. The military also wanted this to be used not only for the Air Force but also for the Navy and the Marines to replace the aging fighters that have been in the service for more than a decade.

The important factors to consider by the two contractors was the aircraft's ability to evade radar such as the F-117 stealth fighter and how well it can perform in combat. This can only be achieved by providing it with sophisticated sensors and radar systems to attack before the enemy can get a shot.

It also included how much it will cost to make one aircraft since the contractor who wins will have to produce a large inventory to be used by the armed forces. In 2001, more than 7 years after this project started, Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to produce the new fighter of the 21st century. The military hopes to get the planes to the various units in the next 10 to 15 years to be able to combat the threats of the future.

The United States is not the only country that uses prototyping services to beef up its country's defenses. Across the Atlantic, nations in Europe have done the same thing with the development of the Harrier, which is the only successful Vertical and Take Off Landing aircraft to this day.

Scientists from different countries worked on the project for years before being able to produce a plane that can offer close air support to troops on the ground. The latest of this is the Typhoon, which is a faster and sleeker fighter aircraft.

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