The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) would like to spotlight a recent news article by the US Department of Defense (DOD) announcing it has developed new policies and programs to support the expansion, standardization and availability of training for additive manufacturing (AM). NCMS has collaborated with the DOD on numerous projects that have broadened the use of AM processes for a wide range of military efforts. The DOD’s new steps to enable greater use of AM will no doubt impact warfighter readiness in many positive ways.
As reported in a July 29, 2021, news article on the DOD website, “Through new strategies, policies and inter-departmental collaboration, the Defense Department is harnessing the potential of additive manufacturing—better known as three-dimensional printing—to help our warfighters maintain technological overmatch against our strategic competitors.
“AM is a computer-controlled process that creates 3D objects by depositing materials, usually in layers. These materials include but are not limited to polymers and metals.
“As cost decreases and AM technology advances, DOD is increasingly taking advantage of this technology to produce such things as spare parts for aircraft and weapons systems; tools; rapid prototyping for research, development, and experimentation; and medical supplies, such as face shields for COVID-19 first responders.”