Towards Point-of-Need Manufacturing to Replace Failed Components on the Battlefield

  • Marc Pepi US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
  • Nicole Zander US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
  • Ian Jaqua Montana Tech, Butte, MT, 59701
  • Bill Gleason Montana Tech, Butte, MT, 59701
  • Courtney Young Montana Tech, Butte, MT, 59701
Keywords: Expeditionary manufacturing, Military logistics. Battle damage repair.


The DoD is intrigued with "point of need" manufacturing as a means of being able to produce parts “on-demand” in extreme environments such as on a forward operating base, or on a ship, to increase our operational readiness, and reduce our huge military logistics tail. Additionally, research is being performed to determine whether recycled, reclaimed and/or indigenous materials can be utilized as feedstock for these components. However, there are
technical challenges that need to be overcome to fully achieve this capability in the future. One such challenge is part quality, and whether such parts can provide a true replacement for military components.


Demand Reduction: Setting Conditions to Enable Multi-Domain Battle – White Paper, Army TRADOC document, 2/21/18.

Vitale, M., Cotteleer, M., and Holdowsky, J., 2016). An Overview of Additive Manufacturing, Defense AT&L, November-December, 2016.

Langlais, Jr. R., Avdellas, N., Finfrock, C., Salley, R., and Newcomb, M., (2016). Separating Hype from Reality, Defense AT&L, November-December, 2016.

Cox, M. (2015). Army Sees Rapid Prototyping as Key to Rapid Innovation, 4/1/15.

Clark, S.L. (2016). Getting AM up to Speed Across the Army Life Cycle, Defense AT&L, November-December, 2016.

Q&A with General Dennis L. Via, Readiness Provider – Responsibly Shaping the Command and Anticipating the Future Operating Environment, Military Logistics Forum 9.8.

Hazeltine, J., Austin, K., and Smith, G. (2013). Additive Manufacturing Challenges and Opportunities for Military Applications, RIAC TAT Number RI-13-RMS#690/DO#290, WR13-13, November 2013.

Dr. Thomas Russell: Research Vision for 3-D Printing, Army Technology Magazine, RDECOM Public affairs, 7/5/14.

Pomerleau, M. (2016). Officials: The Time is Now for Battlefield 3D-Printing, Defense Systems, 3/2/16.

Chalcraft, E. (2012). US Military Invests in 3D Printing on the Frontline,, 11/12/12.

Scott, J., Gupta, N., Weber, C., Newsome, S., Wohlers, T., and Caffrey, T. (2012). Additive Manufacturing: Status and Opportunities, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute, March 2012.

Kurdian, A. CAPT. (2016). Implications of AM for the Navy Supply Chain, Defense AT&L, November-December.

Morris, K. (2016). Driving Innovation to Support the Warfighter – Additive Manufacturing initiatives Within the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense AT&L, November-December.

Deal, K. (2016). Additive Manufacturing – How 3D Printing Will Transform the A&D Support Chain, Aerospace and Defense Technology, December.

Bacon, L. (2016). Here’s How Marines are Using 3-D Printing to Make Their Own Parts, Marine Corps Times, 4/30/16.

Gaska, M. and Clement, T. (2016). Additive Manufacturing as a Sustainment Enabler – An Industry Perspective, Defense AT&L, November-December, 2016.

Samuel, M.P., Mishra, A.K., and Mishra, R.K. (2018). Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V Aero Engine Parts: Qualification for Reliability” Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention 18, 136-144.

Arnold, A. (2016). Additive Manufacturing and the Battlefield: What Next?, Defense IQ, 3/23/16.

History of Metal Casting – A Brief Timeline, Metal Technologies,

Strauss, J. (2015). Feasibility Study on the Deployment of an Atomization System Contained Within Conex Shipping Containers to Operate at a Forward Operating Base, 11/25/15, special report for ARL.