Additive Manufacturing (AM), widely known as 3D-printing, has been identified as one of the key enabling technologies to improve European industrial competitiveness.
Although AM technologies have been developed in the civil sector, it is considered that there is a significant potential for additive manufacturing technologies to enhance defence capabilities. Among them, the most likely are mobility, sustainability, effect and protection through e.g. field repair & maintenance, reduced logistic burden and improved sustainability in warfighting and peacekeeping missions. Substantial economic benefits are also expected.
To identify and explore areas where additive manufacturing will have a wider impact, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has commissioned Fundación Prodintec and MBDA FR to conduct a project on “Additive Manufacturing Feasibility Study & Technology Demonstration”, with expected delivery in December 2017.
The project is composed of three work strands with specific and intertwined objectives such as a desktop study to place AM and its potential in a defence context, the second work strand is a technology demonstration of AM in a simulated deployment scenario, and finally following the desktop study and the technology demonstration.