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Innovation Lab: Welcome!

Welcome to the Innovation Lab at Air University Library!

Welcome to the Innovation Lab at Air University Library

The Innovation Lab is a creative space featuring advanced technology and resources to help promote learning, teaching, problem solving, research, and invention.


Available equipment and services:

  • Virtual and Augmented reality
  • Software development and programming resources
  • Serious gaming and simulations
  • Distance learning and virtual classrooms
  • 3D modeling, imaging, and 3D printing

Free and available for official use to AU students, faculty, and federal employees with a valid Library account.


Source: AU Public Affairs

The Innovation Lab is open by appointment during regular library hours while the COVID emergency is ongoing.

Please contact any Library staff member for tours, assistance, questions, or to checkout Innovation Lab equipment.

Brought to you by a joint effort of the AU Library, TLC, and eSchool.

Air University LibraryTeaching and Learning CentereSchool of Graduate PME

Innovation Lab Equipment

Innovation News


from Air University Library and around the Air Force


3D printed KC130 tool

This $15 3D-Printed Tool Will Save the Air Force Millions

Need to check for fuel leaks? There's a 3D-printed tool for that. The pressurized leak detection cup will cut the number of hours needed to detect for fuel tank leaks on the KC-135 by up to 75 percent, saving at least $1.5 million at RAF Mindenhall alone. (Popular Mechanics) SSgt. Patrick Leach developed this tool to save man hours and reduce time inside the hazardous fuel tank. The item is in line for printing and display in AU Library's Innovation Lab.

AU Collaborates with Montgomery Partners to Assist Front Line Personnel

The Fairchild Research Information Center loaned their 3-D printer to the effort to source and manufacture over 8000 shield masks. These were delivered to institutions in 25 counties across central Alabama including hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire fighters, EMTs, and corrections officers. (Air Force)

3D printed facemask

3D printed component

AU elective broadens SOS students’ research experience

Using the 3D printer in the Innovation Lab at the AU Library, research assistants have developed prototype parts for the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell. Getting a replacement part from the original manufacturer would cost roughly $300 and an untold amount of time to get; however, Capt. Ian Watkins was able to manufacture the prototype in about four hours for less than $2 in materials. (Air Force)

Travis AFB produces first certified 3-D printed aircraft parts

The first 3D printed aircraft parts authorized for use are on display at Travis Air Force Base, CA. The printer, which is certified by the FAA and the AF Advanced Technology and Training Center, offers new opportunities to create needed parts while saving time and money. “The covers we just printed usually take about a year from the time they’ve been ordered to the time they’ve been delivered…We printed two of the covers in 73 hours.” (Air Force)

Travis AFB 3D printer

Flak Vest prototype


Device Holder for Flak Vest

An ACSC Major developed a hands-free flak vest mount for a mobile device. Using AU Library’s 3D printer, the Major produced a rugged device holder that flips down to display battlefield information and allows the user to mark targets. The prototype has been finalized for production. (AU Library)

Digitizing Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Moon Suit

The Smithsonian Museum digitally preserved Neil Armstrong’s entire Apollo 11 space suit through 3D scanning and photogrammetry. Using the AU Library’s 3D printer, Library staff replicated the left gauntlet from the Smithsonian’s digital model. Fine details such as fabric textures, folds, and stitching were preserved in the copy, an example of the high precision and fidelity possible with this technology. (Smithsonian, AU Library)

Moon suit scanning


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