Additive Manufacturing Processes for Design, Maintenance and Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 140943

Problem: Targeting and replicating parts that can keep ground vehicles productive could add significant time to mission readiness and lower the costs of repair. Pratt & Miller Engineering (PME) and TARDEC share a desire to provide the best equipment to our troops and strongly feel this can be enhanced by understanding and learning how to deploy the additive manufacturing (AM) designs and process where it makes the most sense.

Benefit: Documentation of the entire effort will be created so that the methods used can be communicated with suppliers in the DoD and automotive fields of what can be done with an AM centric design effort. This will benefit DoD and automotive designers greatly as a guide to methods and expectations related to AM designed parts and systems. By designing and producing a complete vehicle system, this program will aid future efforts with detailed approaches and potential pitfalls to avoid. The output will clearly demonstrate that many parts can and should be designed with additive manufacturing in mind which will allow future designs to progress with confidence and in a clear manner.

Solution/Approach: To demonstrate how AM could be deployed in the field for onsite part manufacture, PME and TARDEC propose a product enhancement of the TARDEC Ground Vehicle Robotics PackBot (GVR-BOT) using a small manufacturing footprint in the form of a single type AM process that allows parts to be made at the point of need. The existing GVR-BOT will be modeled and analyzed for strength and durability through the application of AM technology. The component models will function as the minimum baseline and will be evaluated alongside modified and optimized GVR-BOTs.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduced costs
  • Empowered and skilled workforce
  • Increased warfighter readiness

DoD Participation:

  • U.S. Army TARDEC

Industry Participation:

  • Pratt & Miller Engineering and Fabrication
  • Kettering University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turnaround time
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Additive manufacturing