Rapidly, Rheinmetall emerges as a dominant force in defense.

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The Impact of 3D Printing on Rheinmetall’s Transformation

In recent years, Rheinmetall, a defense contractor based in Germany, has experienced a significant transformation. Prior to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the company was a mid-sized defense contractor with modest growth rates. However, the war, combined with Germany’s new defense posture, has propelled Rheinmetall into becoming a leading global defense contractor. This transformation can largely be attributed to the company’s utilization of 3D printing technology.

Rheinmetall’s consolidated sales grew by approximately 7.6% to $1.5 billion between the first quarter of 2022 and the same period in 2023. With 25,486 employees as of March 24, 2023, the company is currently undergoing a vast expansion. One key aspect of this expansion is the establishment of a new tank and armament factory in Ukraine. In partnership with Ukroboronprom, a Ukrainian state-owned defense group, Rheinmetall plans to open a $218 million battle tank factory capable of producing around 400 tanks per year.

Additionally, Rheinmetall is collaborating with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to build an ultramodern factory for fabricating fuselage sections for the F-35A multirole-combat aircraft in Weeze, Germany. This significant project is expected to begin production in 2025 and will require the employment of 400 highly skilled workers.

What sets Rheinmetall apart from other defense contractors is its expertise in 3D printing technology. The company has been actively exploring the full potential of additive manufacturing and has even incubated several 3D printing startups. Solidteq, one of these startups, originated from Rheinmetall and has successfully applied 3D printing to various military and vehicle applications, including rapid prototyping and small-scale component production.

One noteworthy achievement in Rheinmetall’s application of 3D printing technology is its collaboration with Formero, an Australian 3D printing and manufacturing service bureau. Formero has delivered locally printed 3D products to Rheinmetall Defense Australia (RDA) for its “LYNX KF41” Infantry Fighting Vehicle as part of its Land 400 Phase 3 offer to Australia. This collaboration demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation and its ability to leverage digital technologies for practical solutions.

Another advantage of incorporating 3D printing into Rheinmetall’s operations is the potential for increased research and development (R&D) tax credits. The company can include wages for technical employees involved in creating, testing, and revising 3D printed prototypes as part of eligible R&D activities. Similarly, the integration of 3D printing hardware and software, as well as the costs of consumed filaments during the development process, can also be recovered through R&D tax credits.

Overall, Rheinmetall’s adoption of 3D printing technology has played a vital role in its transformation from a middle-sized defense contractor to a leading global player. The company’s ability to leverage the full capabilities of additive manufacturing has allowed for significant advancements in military and vehicle applications. Furthermore, Rheinmetall’s collaborations with other industry leaders, such as Formero, highlight the immense potential of 3D printing in driving innovation and practical solutions. As the company continues to expand and explore new opportunities, it is clear that 3D printing will remain a cornerstone of its success.

Title: Embracing Technological Advancements: 3D Printing in Rheinmetall’s Ambitious Expansion Projects


In today’s dynamic world, companies often find themselves at a crossroads, where they must constantly adapt and innovate to meet the changing demands of industries and markets. Rheinmetall, a leading defense contractor, is no exception. Their remarkable list of expansion projects not only reflects their commitment to supporting Germany and NATO countries’ defense budget needs but also showcases their forward-thinking approach by incorporating 3D printing design and production capabilities. In this blog post, we will delve into how Rheinmetall’s integration of 3D printing technology is set to revolutionize their expansion endeavors and exceed existing industry standards.

Expanding Horizons:

Rheinmetall’s expansion projects form the cornerstone of their strategic vision to bolster national and international defense capabilities. What sets them apart is their embrace of cutting-edge technology, particularly 3D printing. By incorporating this disruptive technology into their expansion plans, the company aims to bolster their production capabilities, meet the growing defense budget demands, and, ultimately, enhance national security.

Unleashing 3D Printing’s Potential:

Many of us are familiar with 3D printing’s revolutionary impact on various sectors, from healthcare to manufacturing. Rheinmetall recognizes the immense potential 3D printing holds in transforming the defense industry. By integrating 3D printing design and production capabilities into their expansion plans, Rheinmetall aims to streamline the development process, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies. This advanced technique will enable the company to produce highly complex and customized components more swiftly, which is critical in meeting the evolving defense requirements of German and other NATO countries.

Benefits for Rheinmetall and its Stakeholders:

A strategic shift towards 3D printing will bring a plethora of benefits to Rheinmetall and its stakeholders. Firstly, the company will have the ability to create intricate and lightweight parts that were previously unattainable using traditional manufacturing methods. This newfound capability will not only enhance the durability and performance of their products but also render them more cost-effective.

Secondly, Rheinmetall’s adoption of 3D printing will allow them to reduce their environmental impact. By optimizing material usage and minimizing waste, they will contribute to a more sustainable defense industry, aligning with global initiatives aimed at reducing carbon footprints.

Furthermore, the integration of 3D printing technology will foster innovation and collaboration within Rheinmetall’s research and development teams. By facilitating rapid prototyping and iterative design processes, engineers and designers will enjoy greater flexibility in experimenting with new ideas and pushing the boundaries of what is achievable.


Rheinmetall’s impressive expansion projects not only illustrate their commitment to supporting defense budget needs but also highlight their proactive approach in embracing technological advancements. By integrating 3D printing design and production capabilities into their expansion plans, Rheinmetall is positioning itself at the forefront of innovation in the defense industry. This strategic shift will enable Rheinmetall to produce high-quality, customized components efficiently, while also reducing costs and environmental impact. In doing so, Rheinmetall is not only enhancing national security but also empowering their stakeholders and contributing to the growth and sustainability of the defense industry as a whole.

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