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Defence 3D printing has become a buzzword in military circles. It is not surprising at all, considering how 3D printing applications, also called additive manufacturing, has been a disruptive technology across industries. From the prospect of drastic cost reductions tools and components, 3D printing renders product designs with additional flexibility, while also offering the advantage of on-site (local) manufacturing, based on demands.
The most significant contribution of 3D printing in aerospace and defence has been in the domain of spare parts production, thus helping in the up to date maintenance of military defence systems.
Experts in manufacturing and industry are of the opinion that 3D print service is poised to become the norm, rather than an exception in the defence industry in the not too distant future (a decade or less). Now that is what we call a revolution!
Expedited process of production – 3D printing military applications has helped to speed up the process of designing products without having to rely on traditional tooling techniques. Where conventional methods of manufacturing would have required weeks, even months for the necessary tools for prototyping and spare parts production, 3D printing achieves it within hours!Production of critical military equipment has therefore become much faster, not to mention cost-effective as well.
Lightweight designs – The use of additive manufacturing in defence begs the question- why wasn’t it used much earlier than it finally was? Using 3D printing, objects can be optimized. In other words, designers can choose to cut down unnecessary weights on equipment using lightweight material and streamlined designs. This, in turn, helps to save on overall costs of production.
More customizations - Military defence requires unique strategies, using customized equipment. 3D printing helps in this regard as well.Using portable 3D print technology, soldiers can easily print the particular components that they require, instead of carrying around cumbersome configurations of entire equipment plans.
Research and development - One of the major sources of expense for the defense and aerospace industry is research and development, the use of 3d printing eases the process of prototyping and test different materials under different scenarios to select the right material for the final product thus reducing the overall cost while speeding up the procedures.
Metal 3D Printing: Using DMLS 3D print technology, defence and military equipment can be printed in metal. No matter the complications in design, metal 3D printing can make a huge difference in military strategies. You can print anything from components to be used on a drone to safe electrical parts on board a submarine.
Zeal offers highly precise industrial grade metal 3D printing in the following materials.
Plastic 3D Printing: Military bases are in constant need of prototyping, research and development,restocking on supplies such as food, fuel for vehicles, ammunition and tools for repair and maintenance. With the availability of portable 3D printers, soldiers on the front lines do no longer have to wait for such critical supplies.
Zeal 3D printing offers printing in commercially available plastic filaments. These include the following: