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Iran Can Reverse Engineering Everthing with 3-D Printing

DEFENSE AND TECHNOLOGY -- Reverse engineering airplane replacement parts is a tricky task, especially when the parts themselves are in short supply and the cost of error is a plane crashing. This is part of what makes sanctions on airplanes, and repair parts, so damaging: there just aren’t that many ways around not having the right parts. Or at least, there weren’t, but 3D printing changes that whole picture.

Take, for example, the case of commercial aircraft in Iran. As part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran Deal, the United States agreed to lift sanctions on commercial aircraft and aircraft parts. With sanctions lifted, the Iran was set to buy or lease almost 120 new Boeing aircraft, which the airline boasted as a move that would finally bring the average age of planes in its fleet down below 20 years. With the Trump administration withdrawing from the deal, those plane orders are unlikely to go through, and the airline will have to rely on an aging fleet of craft, with whatever spare parts it has on hand to keep them in the air.

By the middle of this century, 3D printing could make nations like Iran self-sufficient when it comes to maintaining fleets of foreign-built aircraft.


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