Additive Manufacturing Roadmap for the Future

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a revolutionary technology that is changing the manufacturing business model and the maintenance and sustainment communities it supports. NCMS has been on the forefront of pushing the technology forward, not only with CTMA projects, but also collaborating with organizations to take a deep dive into auxiliary aspects of AM such as the business implications that surround it.

Since 2016, there have been several opportunities for those involved in all aspects of AM collaborating to share thoughts, experiences, and expertise. Two of these events were wargame exercises. The first wargame was organized by Deloitte and the second that focused on business models organized by America Makes and NCMS/Additive Manufacturing for Maintenance Operations Working Group (AMMO WG). Simulations focused on the business transactions involved when DoD requires that repair parts be additively manufactured at a DoD depot or third-party location to support immediate readiness goals. The wargames assessed commercial gaps and challenges discovered during simulations to begin developing the necessary environment to support the continued adoption of AM capabilities.

Business Model Workshops provide sustainment vision

In response to the wargames, the AM Business Model Planning Group, consisting of members from the AMMO WG, America Makes, DoD, and NCMS was formed to build upon the business model aspects. Possible scenarios were developed where AM fabricated parts would be contracted. The first workshop took place at the Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center, 30-31 May 2018. It addressed business model aspects of AM for sustainment and production in parallel with ongoing AM technology community efforts. Implications for AM reach far beyond the actual fabricated part and touch on numerous areas. The workshop focused on auxiliary topics to prepare our DoD maintenance and sustainment communities for the future.

Participants were assigned to one of the following work groups:

  • Develop an AM Contracting Guide for the Navy/ DoD
  • Information Assurance on 3D Technical Data Packages and Blockchain
  • Pathfinder Scenario Study of AM Repair Part
  • 3D Model Exchange
  • AM Intellectual Property Management

Over 170 people from DoD, other government agencies, industry, and academia took part. Each group was comprised of 20-30 people from disciplines such as:

  • Logistics
  • Acquisition
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Contracting
  • Program Management
  • Information Technology & Networking

This event was an important step for both industry and government to discuss, investigate, and put thought toward concrete aspects of using AM fabricated parts as well as establishing next steps. The workshop built on the business models of the wargames exercises and helped create a roadmap for the future of AM.

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