US Army marching towards integrating additive manufacturing within its supply chain

The U.S. Army is working towards developing its supply chain to support the integration of additive manufacturing. That’s according to Gen. Gus Perna, the head of Army Materiel Command, speaking at a press event in Washington on February 4, 2020. 

A 3D printed metal part testing the capabilities of custom alloys. This part shows the geometric capabilities of 3D printing with the symbol of the newly formed Army Futures Command. Photo via the U.S. Army/David McNally.

Having been experimenting and trialing the technology in recent times, Perna states that it is now pertinent for the U.S. Army to develop a means for effectively deploying and utilizing 3D printing across the service, particularly within arsenals, depots, and plants. 

To this end, an advanced manufacturing policy was approved by Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy in October 2019, which focused specifically on “Enabling Readiness and Modernization Through Advanced Manufacturing”. The policy seeks to push the adoption of 3D printing forward in the force in order to manufacture parts quickly.  Reaffirming its commitment to advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, Perna states that the next step for the U.S. Army is to develop a process for using the capabilities of the technology across the force.

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