After intense scrutiny on parts costs, the U.S. Air Force is 3D printing toilet seat covers for its cargo airlift planes instead of spending $10,000 to replace them.
"We now produce the latrine cover for the C-5 [Galaxy] using 3D printing," service spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com in an email Wednesday. "Using this new process allows us to make parts that are no longer in production and is driving major cost savings."
The news comes after Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, demanded that the Defense Department's Inspector General's office investigate why the service was spending so much to purchase individual seat covers for the planes.
Grassley last month queried the department on the "egregious and wasteful" spending after Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Will Roper told DefenseOne in an interview the service was shelling out thousands of dollars each time to replace broken seat covers instead of using 3D printing for a quick and less expensive fix.