A defense official states that the Pentagon is making progress in the field of 3D printing.

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The Department of Defense (DoD) is on the brink of a new era in additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities, according to Keith DeVries, the deputy director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Manufacturing Technology Program (OSD ManTech). DeVries made these comments during a webinar hosted by Defense News, where he discussed the improved capabilities of the US defense industrial base in metal AM.

DeVries emphasized the importance of treating AM as a tool in the toolkit and applying it where it adds the most value. He acknowledged that advancements in AM have been significant, but now the focus is on determining the appropriate build volume for the technology.

What sets DeVries’ comments apart is both his position within the DoD and the timing of his remarks. As deputy director of OSD ManTech, he plays a critical role in the development of emerging technologies. His endorsement of US progress in 3D printing carries weight and signifies a turning point for the DoD.

Coincidentally, DeVries’ comments came shortly after his superior, William LaPlante, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, announced that Ukraine had acquired industrial-size 3D printers. LaPlante also highlighted the use of AM in aircraft engines and its impact on sustainment.

These statements, made by high-ranking defense officials, indicate that AM is becoming a key aspect of the US’s economic competition with China. The DoD wants to showcase its commitment to adopting and advancing AM technology and its implications for the US economy. This deliberate media blitz is strategic, as it aims to attract investor dollars and position the US as a leader in the field.

Moving forward, it’s likely that the Pentagon will continue to promote the benefits of 3D printing in various media outlets. This ongoing effort is essential in highlighting the US’s preparedness for significant changes and reinforcing its position in the global economic landscape.

Interested readers can stay informed about the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry by subscribing to Defense News and receiving updates from third-party vendors.

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