DE&S is accelerating its use of leading-edge additive manufacturing (AdM), or 3D printing, as a way of streamlining defence logistics, ensuring equipment parts are more readily available for front line commands across the world. 3D printing enables manufacturing at point of need, therefore improving existing supply chains by reducing logistics burdens. It has seen a rapid, ground-up, adoption across all Armed Forces domains with around 40 3D printers currently in use across Defence.
In addition to boosting availability and enhancing efficiency, AdM processes have the potential to vastly reduce the MOD’s carbon footprint by allowing Armed Forces to create the parts they need wherever they are globally, reducing the need for that equipment to be shipped out.
Always looking to engage with industry and push the envelope of what can be achieved, DE&S’s Future Capability Group is hosting the UK’s first AdM/3D printing “hackathon” on April 3 and 4 where leading additive manufacturing experts will be invited to compete their abilities against a set of task, including reverse engineering a part so that it has the same fit but reduced weight and/or part count.