AM technologies are expected to enhance defence capabilities as mobility, sustainability, effect and protection. They have a strong potential for enhanced circularity: efficient use of resources, increased reusability, repairability and remanufacturing of products, as well as specific advantages for the logistics of spare parts.

By implementing deployable AM repair and maintenance solutions on site on missions, it is possible to reduce the ‘military logistic footprint’ in terms of costs, infrastructure, personnel and availability significantly. AM solutions can be produced for multipurpose on demand when- and wherever required. This has a relevant impact on the logistic supply chain for military assets where a large volume of inventory and supplies is constantly maintained in warehouses or deployed to ensure operational readiness. In addition, AM also may bring additional benefits to the defence sector, as it allows repair, rapid prototyping and limited-run on-demand production of parts no longer available.

Moreover, there are many specific aspects in which the additive manufacturing greatly contributes to the optimization of the redesign and production processes, e.g. the reduction in the use of materials.

Project ideas

Valorisation of Titanium via Additive Manufacturing:

Leveraging additive manufacturing, this project aims to validate and demonstrate, in military environments, the production of armour components using titanium feedstock derived from scrap. This will enhance military applications but also opens avenues for broader usage in other sectors, showcasing the potential for repurposing waste materials into valuable resources. 

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Low-temperature materials, biomaterials and fibres for Additive Manufacturing:

This project seeks to pioneer solutions for additive manufacturing utilising bio-based materials processed at room temperature. The primary goals include achieving circularity through feedstock derived from renewable sources and reducing energy consumption in the manufacturing process. 

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Circular deployable Additive Manufacturing:

Focused on enhancing on-site manufacturing capabilities, this project aims to address repair, circularity of materials, and overall mission self-sufficiency. The holistic approach comprises six capability modules: engineering, processing technology, postprocessing, verification, energy supply, and material recycling. By managing materials and parts in a circular manner, this initiative supports improved operational readiness of military assets.

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The themes embedded within this Project Circle have been developed within the concerned EDA working bodies, such as the Materials Capability Technology Group (CapTech) and Project Team (PT) Logistics.

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