How to use and improve Additive Manufacturing (AM, commonly known as 3D-printing) for enhanced circularity in defence applications? To identify priorities for future collaborative triple helix projects in this domain, 50 experts from 13 European countries met on 21 June in Taranto (Italy) for a workshop organised under EDA’s “Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence” (IF CEED) and Materials CapTech.
The event was the first activity of IF CEED’s “Circular Additive Manufacturing” project circle. The meeting, hosted by the Arsenale Militare of the Italian Navy in Taranto, allowed participants from Ministries of Defence, industry, research and technology organisations as well as academia to exchange views on how AM can best help to reduce the military’s environmental footprint by promoting increased circularity of materials, optimisation of processes and the implementation of AM deployable solutions. Health and safety issues, as well as the quality of input data for Life Cycle Assessment were also addressed.
The EU’s wider research and innovation agenda was duly taken into account through to the participation of the European Commission’s DG RTD.
Several concrete proposals for future projects were identified during the meeting; they will be refined during the project circle’s next meetings. These project ideas confirm that innovation in technologies and logistics can contribute to improving the Armed Forces’ environmental impact as well as their operational efficiency.
AM technologies are expected to enhance defence capabilities and have a strong potential for improved circularity: efficient use of resources, increased reusability, repairability and remanufacturing of products, as well as specific advantages for the logistics of spare parts.
Participants with the FREMM Frigate ITS Carabiniere in the background
EDA’s IF CEED website
EDA Materials CapTech
TV coverage in Italian (Resoconto in italiano)