Additive Manufacturing Moves from Laboratory to Front Lines of the Military

Published by , May 12, 2017 11:47 am

(AdvancedManufacturing) Defense facilities nationwide started using additive manufacturing (AM) technologies early on in the ’90s. But as the technologies have become more robust and have better materials, DoD entities warmed to the idea of putting these technologies to use directly. All branches have now implemented plans not only to use AM in the development of systems but the forward deployment of additive manufacturing in critical areas.
The most important application is using AM for end-use parts. There are two categories for this application. One is described as Near Term Work in Progress. This describes parts that are used as quick fixes or for mission modifications. The other category is for Longer Term components made using metal AM machines that make parts from titanium, cobalt chrome, and steel alloys. This is where the military is emphasizing in future planning. Look for traditional contracts for DoD to specify that parts include AM files for replacement parts as well as part-build parameters and postprocessing procedures.

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