In past 30 years, 3-D printing has transformed from an immature technology with limited applications to being adopted by industry as an enabler for the next generation of products and systems.
In the next 10 to 15 years, experts expect the technology to revolutionize how commercial and defense products are designed, sourced and sustained.
“As the technology continues to mature, the Army must not only closely watch how industry is applying this game-changing manufacturing process, but also have an active role in shaping the technology, applications and reducing the barriers to implementation within Army systems,” said Andy Davis, Army Manufacturing Technology program manager. “The benefits of actively participating in the advancement of 3-D printing to the Army are great.”
Whether it is manufacturing parts on demand at the point of need, repair of high-value parts at a fraction of the cost and time, or realizing entirely new designs currently unobtainable through traditional manufacturing processes, the Army of the future will rely on this additive manufacturing process, he said.