What Are the Applications for Additive Manufacturing in the Defense Sector? Additive manufacturing is widely used in many sectors including maritime, aerospace, and automotive. It should come as no surprise then, that it is also being increasingly adopted by the defense sector worldwide. In fact, the military 3D printing sector is expected to be worth $1.7 billion by 2027, showing the importance the technologies have. Considering that in the military speed, lighter weights, and lower costs are all paramount, additive manufacturing certainly has a role to play. We took a closer look at some of the most interesting applications for 3D printing in the defense sector, they are listed below in no particular order.
The Largest Metal 3D Printer
The U.S. military is so convinced of the benefits of additive manufacturing that last year, they announced that they would even be building the world’s largest metal 3D printer. The U.S. DEVCOM Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center is working to build the printer with the help of ASTRO America, Ingersoll Machine Tool, Siemens, and MELD Manufacturing at Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. The printer will be part of the Jointless Hull Project with the end mission being to print monolithic (one-piece) hulls for combat vehicles. When it was announced, it was estimated that the project would take around 14 months and the end printer would be capable of printing metal parts that are 30 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 12 feet high. Though we have had no recent news on it, it is likely that the project will be finished in the near future.