Analysis of the Potential Impact of Additive Manufacturing on Army Logistics

Report Number: NPS-LM-13-110

Series: Logistics Management

Category: Additive Manufacturing

Report Series: Sponsored Report

Authors: Brock A. Zimmerman, Ellis E. Allen

Title: Analysis of the Potential Impact of Additive Manufacturing on Army Logistics

Published: 2013-11-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Graduate Student

Full Text URL:

Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, Aerial Resupply, Stereolithography, Fused Deposition Modeling, Selective Laser Sintering, Order-to-Receipt Time


This study examines additive manufacturing and describes the potential impact it could have on Army logistics, specifically contingency resupply operations. We research the three primary methods of additive manufacturing: stereolithography, selective laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling. Our research identifies how each process works, the varieties of materials used, and the build times utilized in each process. Our methodology examines industry and military applications of additive manufacturing and identifies advantages and disadvantages of its use. Our analysis examines aerial resupply operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Department of Defense standard times for aerial resupply associated with each step in the process. A comparative analysis identifies how the availability of additive manufacturing at the point of embarkation could impact order-to-receipt time of repair parts. This study concludes with the identification of the pros and cons of additive manufacturing, its potential impact on future operations, and recommendations for further research.