An analysis of item identification for additive manufacturing (3-D printing) within the Naval supply chain
Morgan, Jason A.
Prentiss, Jacob M.
Brinkley, Douglas E.
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Additive manufacturing (AM) technology, known as three-dimensional (3-D) printing, was developed in the 1980s and has matured such that it is being implemented into modern business processes as a way to reduce prototype design and production lead times. Similar to companies in civilian industry, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Development Cell has been looking for ways to introduce this technology into the Navy’s supply chain. The Navy is operating in a continuously shrinking, budget-constrained environment and always seeks ways to save money and improve business practices. Implementing AM into the Navy’s supply chain has the potential to reduce costs and improve acquisition processes. As the Navy continues to invest in AM, current inventories of material must be reviewed for applicability and compatibility to determine what is 3-D printable. This project’s goal is to provide decision support criteria by identifying influential factors that determine the applicability of 3-D printing alternatives. The approach taken involves an analysis of the technology, its use in civilian industries, and a discussion of influential factors determining whether 3-D printing is a alternative to traditional supply chains. Moreover, it identifies potential uses and provides examples for printing 3-D material for the Navy.
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