Marc S. Pepi, Materials Engineer, US Army Research Laboratory
Additive Manufacturing provides many advantages to industry in terms of cost savings, the ability to manufacture complex and unique designs and geometries in a timely fashion, as well as providing a more environmentally-friendly means of production (leads to less waste than subtractive manufacturing). The DoD is interested in additive manufacturing as a means of being able to produce parts “on-demand” in extreme environments such as on a ship, or on a forward operating base using recycled, reclaimed and/or indigenous materials. However, there are technical challenges that need to be overcome to fully achieve this capability in the future. One such challenge is part quality and whether such parts can provide a true replacement for standard parts. This presentation will discuss this and other challenges and will outline the various related on-going efforts at the Army Research Laboratory.