Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd. partners with the MoD to create resilient UK-centric supply chains

UK-based 3D printing SME Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd. (AMS) has announced that it is collaborating with the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA). 

Through this partnership, the company will research the technical feasibility of recovering critical materials from surplus Defence Assets. This collaboration forms the first stage of a project that the MOD hopes will enhance knowledge and control over current and future material sourcing strategies.      

“AMS has tirelessly built momentum and expertise within the additive powder market, with a sharp focus on providing recycled feedstocks. This agreement represents the next phase in our mission to commercialize recycled materials within the additive manufacturing feedstock market,” commented AMS Director and CEO Rob Higham. 

“It stands as a crowning achievement in AMS’ history. Supporting the MoD in addressing critical mineral accessibility and capability is an honor and a testament to the efforts of the entire AMS team.

AMS and MoD collaboration announcement banner. Image via Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd
AMS and MoD collaboration announcement banner. Image via Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd.

The MoD and AMS’ partnership  

Initially, this collaboration will center around a comprehensive capability assessment for the MoD. This assessment will include trials relating to atomisation, additive manufacturing feasibility, and the exploration of future materials. 

Ultimately, in collaboration with an unnamed MoD supplier, AMS is seeking to deliver demonstrative geometry using recycled feedstock. The next stage of this work will then focus on material industrialization and qualification.     

According to AMS, this MoD contract indicates a significant shift towards the adoption of sustainable and resilient UK-centric supply chains. What’s more, the company believes that this partnership highlights the alignment of its own vision with that of major players within the defense industry. 

Indeed, this project will support the MoD’s ongoing efforts to create a strong UK-based supply chain for the supply of vital minerals, such as titanium, to the UK market. This initiative is advertised as championing a “high-value circular economy” approach to the sourcing of feedstock.         

“This innovative technical feasibility study, to be delivered by Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd., is another confident step forwards on MoD’s sustainability and circular economy journey,” stated the DESA’s Submarine Recycling, Sustainability & Innovation Programme Manager Thomas Powell. 

“It is a delight to be able to partner with Additive Manufacturing Solutions Ltd. and UK Strategic Command Defence Support to advance the MoD’s understanding as to whether redundant and surplus Defence Assets can be upcycled into new capabilities thereby reducing costs, increasing resiliency, maximizing operational availability and enabling MoD to capitalize on and exploit new and emerging technologies for maximum operational advantage.” 

UK Ministry of Defence sign. Photo via Ministry of Defence.
UK Ministry of Defence sign. Photo via Ministry of Defence.

Securing defense-related supply chains with additive manufacturing  

This is by no means the first time the MoD has leveraged additive manufacturing to secure supply chains. Back in 2022, the MoD launched “Project TAMPA,” which seeks to establish a multi-supplier framework with the capability to 3D print stronger and lighter metal parts at the point of need. 

With an initial budget of £5 million, this project seeks to drive down military equipment and weaponry lead times, while improving the availability of difficult-to-source obsolete components. The project sees a range of suppliers contracted to 3D print inventory, and make the resulting models available across the UK’s entire defense network.       

Elsewhere, it was announced earlier this year that US based government and commercial services contractor Amentum had been awarded a $4.6 billion indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract by the US Air Force (USAF) Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate. 

This contract will see the company modernize the US military’s supply chain and procurement by delivering commercial buying solutions for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Customers. Amentum will leverage its 3D scanning and additive manufacturing capabilities to modernize logistics systems, combat obsolescence, and deliver cost efficiencies to over 105 foreign partner companies.  

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