Axon this week Announced The US Department of Defense has granted it $ 1.6 million. It is one of the largest government contracts for the Pennsylvania-based metal 3D printing company, serving the construction of a portable 3D printing factory for the front line – essentially for soldiers to make broken and missing parts A method where they are needed most.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really focused on delivering our technology in government-type applications: DoD, NASA, DoE,” CEO John Hartner tells ClearTips. “Sometimes people talk about disrupting the supply chain and achieving decentralized manufacturing. It is decentralized and further deployed, if you will. These are headlines for an emergency, humanitarian mission or war fighter. “
The grant money will specifically go towards R&D and construction of the first unit.
The system combines a series of machines with a software layer designed to reduce the barrier of entry for use. While some training will be required, the hope is that people will be able to operate the system in the area.
“We’ve ruggedized the products that are going in,” Hartner says. “There is an element of software that makes it easy to use the whole thing together. You start with scanning. Therefore, there is a possibility that you print from a cloud-based repository, but may not be available for whatever reason, so you may have a broken part that you can scan and some for file and print Can do digital repair. “
The devices rely on binder jet printing, the core technology behind Axone’s machines. The system essentially composites powder, layer by layer, to form an object. ExOne expects the Q3 to deliver the first system by 2022. If all goes well, the parties will discuss further partnerships.