Additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver immense benefits to Canada’s military and defense sector including lower production costs for components and tools, localized manufacturing, lower turnaround time, improved technical competitiveness and design flexibility.
Given that Canadian land, air and maritime defense systems feature complex structures, the customization abilities of additive manufacturing as well as its on-demand and on-site features are especially appealing to the defense sector.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular applications for 3D printing in the defense sector.
Modeling and Prototyping
Additive manufacturing offers the perfect solution for creating prototypes and concept models quickly. It is extensively used in the defense sector to manufacture prototypes quickly. At the same time, it does away with the need for expensive tooling.
Design concepts and validation testing can also be carried out quickly, reducing the product development cycle.
Given that military equipment is generally used for several years, the defense sector is heavily reliant on spare parts.
Traditionally, defense companies procured these parts from third-party manufacturers. With the advent of 3D printing technology, it’s possible to produce spare parts on-demand and quickly.
For example, ships are increasingly using 3D printers on board to make replacement parts without having to order parts or return to a port.
With technologies like Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED), it’s possible to repair and restore high-end equipment including worn surfaces of turbine blades.
Ever since BAE systems built the first fighter jet featuring 3D printed parts, the defense sector has recognized the endless possibilities of additive manufacturing.
Some of the structural components that have been built for the defense sector include surveillance drones, submarine hulls and jet engine components. What’s more, 3D printed grenade launchers are already a reality and even missiles are under development.
High Quality Metal Powders for Additive Manufacturing in the Defense Sector
Here at T-metal we enable additive manufacturing through our innovative metal powders, which can stand their own in extreme environments that are typical of 3D printing processes.
If you are looking for quality raw materials for 3D printing, get in touch with us today. We would be happy to help you find the right solution to suit your application and requirements.
View a list of our products here.