The Royal Dutch Army is heavily focused on innovation. The Additive Manufacturing Expertise Center (AMEC) in Leusden is the coordinator of 3D printing at the Ministry of Defense. The goal of this center is to coordinate AM roadmaps and increase awareness and applications of 3D printing in the military. That’s why the Royal Dutch Army asked Additive Center to run the Additive Application Program for their teams.
Together with Gerben Fokkink, Projectleader Additive Manufacturing at the Dutch Army, we specified a custom program. The goal: Create awareness on the possibilities, Train personnel on the most important 3D printing technologies and identify realistic use cases to increase adaptability and improve deployability. The program contained interactive workshops, challenged the engineers to see new opportunities and identified concepts that are possible today. During the program multiple experts of Additive Center were present for in-depth expertise on both Metal and Polymer 3D printing.
Military use cases, trained engineers and awareness
The group identified around 20 use-cases because of the interactive approach we use. Based on the found use cases the necessary knowledge was provided to understand feasibility of the concept. Using our Additive Application Canvas we finalized things by clearly framing the opportunity, technology, benefits and challenges.
On a mission: 3D printing
After the succes of the program, the Royal Dutch Army expanded their efforts focused on developing 3D printed application that help troops to be more adaptive in the field.
Gerben now recommends to expand awareness on the possibilities of Additive Manufacturing next to conventional production methods: “Every engineer should be aware of what is possible with metal and polymer 3D printing nowadays. As the Royal Dutch Army we should gather our country wide experience on this technology and make it available to our men and women battling in the field. This way we give them additional tools to cope with changing environments, create safer missions and provide them with the tools to be more effective. “