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U.S. Army Develops Additive Manufacturing Roadmap

The U.S. Army has recently announced the development of an additive manufacturing roadmap.  As the press release for the roadmap explains, “additive manufacturing will allow Soldiers deployed in remote outposts around the world to ‘print’ virtually anything they need, from food to shelter to weapons or even the printing of new skin cells to repair burned skin.”

Military commitment to this industry illustrates just how valuable 3D printing can be.  The U.S. Army states that its Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap has been “merged into the overarching Department of Defense (DOD) Roadmap that comprises common requirements and technical objectives across all service branches.”

“The DOD roadmap also identifies current and future capabilities that are needed to enable additive manufacturing and areas for collaboration.  These common standards set out in the roadmap will enable the DOD, industry, and academia to effectively use additive manufacturing.”

Within this roadmap, “the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command is developing additive manufacturing in three phases: Phase One will use additive manufacturing to repair or replace existing parts, Phase Two will reduce multi-part assembly from a series of parts to one part, and Phase Three will use additive manufacturing to create new parts that do not already exist.”

As the U.S. Army concludes, 3D printing is important to their operations because it “has the ability to improve the performance of Army weapon systems on the battlefield.  Additionally, 3D printing gives the Army a tactical advantage by providing the ability to manufacture and produce items as close to the point of need as possible.  This will not only lighten the logistics burden but also improve the efficiency of the acquisition process.  By simplifying the process of repairing or producing spare parts, the Army will make critical gains in readiness.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of the U.S. Army

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