Analysis of the potential impact of additive manufacturing on Army logistics
Zimmerman, Brock A.
Allen, Ellis E., III
Brinkley, Douglas E.
Hudgens, Bryan J.
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This study examines additive manufacturing and describes the potential impact it could have on Army logistics, specifically contingency resupply operations. We research the three primary methods of additive manufacturing: sterolithography, selective laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling. Our research identifies how each process works, the varieties of materials used, and the build times utilized in each process. Our methodology examines industry and military applications of additive manufacturing and identifies advantages and disadvantages of its use. Our analysis examines aerial resupply operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Department of Defense standard times for aerial resupply associated with each step in the process. A comparative analysis identifies how the availability of additive manufacturing at the point of embarkation could impact order-to-receipt time of repair parts. This study concludes with the identification of the pros and cons of additive manufacturing, its potential impact on future operations, and recommendations for further research.
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