DOD Releases New Additive Manufacturing Strategy

Jan 28, 2021

by ASME.org

DOD has released its first-ever comprehensive Additive Manufacturing (AM) Strategy. The Strategy seeks to offer guidance that will support the national defense by incorporating AM-designed equipment that will allow for improved systems and battlefield performance and by increasing material readiness to reduce the risk of obsolete hardware. The Strategy seeks to better incorporate AM technology into the national defense to take advantage of the many benefits this emerging technology offers.
 
To achieve broad adoption of AM, the Strategy outlines plans to:
  1. Integrate AM into DOD and the Defense Industrial Base;
  2. Align AM activities across DOD and with external partners;
  3. Advance and promote agile use of AM;
  4. Expand proficiency in AM: learn, practice, and share knowledge; and
  5. Secure the AM workflow.
 
The Strategy’s second goal is to “align AM activities across DOD and with external partners” and specifically mentions DOD’s partnership with its 8 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs). These MIIs are part of a larger national Manufacturing USA network of institutes, with each institute focusing on a specific advanced manufacturing technology. The Strategy discusses a 2016 AM Roadmap previously created in conjunction with one of these institutes, America Makes, which specializes in additive manufacturing:
 
“In 2016, the first DoD-wide AM Roadmap was published with four focus areas: design, material, process, and value chain. The roadmap is being updated to incorporate advances in technology and current information from Service-level plans. DoD will align research and development, acquisition, logistics, and business process investments to gaps in the roadmap to meet DoD AM objectives and improve the effectiveness of AM implementation efforts.”
 
This new strategy takes a comprehensive look that goes beyond what is required to develop innovative new technologies and focuses more broadly on how best to incorporate those technologies across the Department of Defense. This includes achieving its missions on the battlefield, but also in many other areas where DOD is involved, such as fighting the COVID-19 pandemic (though there are no specific plans outlined in this area).
 
The Strategy seeks to align and incorporate AM into all aspects of the Department and stand at the forefront of technological development and assimilation. For specifics, please reference the full Strategy at: https://www.cto.mil/dod-additive-manufacturing-strategy/.
 

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