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3D Systems Launches 3D Printing Lab with U.S. Army

Monday, November 2, 2015  
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3D Systems (3DS) has announced a partnership with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to jointly develop 3D printing technology and materials for automotive, medical, wearable, aerospace and other commercial and defense applications at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

As part of this agreement, 3DS personnel will serve as guest researchers on-site at Aberdeen Proving Ground to collaborate with the Army's material scientists. Together, Army and 3DS researchers will tap ARL's expansive high-tech materials characterization toolset, as well as bring together scores of leading polymer and metals scientists from the government and industry. 3DS will also work with the Army on hybridized manufacturing applications using 3D printing to allow for logistics innovations such as in-field manufacturing and efficient depot-level repair.

"Additive manufacturing is redefining what is possible," said Larry (LJ) Holmes, principal investigator for the effort, Army Research Laboratory. "Novel materials research will enable areas like 3D-printed electronics and multifunctional structures. The development of hybridized manufacturing technologies will allow in-field manufacturing, efficient depot-level repair and a reduction of the Army's overall logistics burden. Equipping our soldiers with the most cutting-edge technology requires innovations throughout our supply chain. We are pleased to embark on this cooperative R&D agreement, which will undoubtedly unlock new scientific discoveries and industrial innovation."

Additionally, under the lab's new Open Campus initiative, various companies, universities and government agencies can apply to access the ARL's newly acquired inventory of 3D printer technologies from 3DS, including a host of the latest state-of-the-art stereolithography, direct metal printing and multijet printing machines.

"The United States Army is both a leader and innovator in adopting 3D printing technology," said Neal Orringer, vice president of alliances and partnerships, 3DS. "Through its Open Campus initiative, the ARL is not only advancing high-tech collaboration, but also — more importantly — breaking new ground in fielding new materials and systems that support American soldiers, and we are proud to be the Army's partner."

Development and qualification of new materials and printer technologies under this agreement will enable adoption of this technology within the Army, its industrial base and that of other industries.

ARL will showcase its 3D printing research facilities at its Open Campus Open House on Nov. 3-4, 2015, at its Aberdeen Proving Ground campus in Aberdeen, Maryland. The event will introduce members of the international science and technology community to the ARL's research scientists and engineers and its specialized laboratory facilities that are available to support joint research.

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