Product Life Cycle and 3D Printing within the Protection Sector

Revolutionary Algorithms, a licensed Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Enterprise that makes use of 3D printing for prototyping and design.

Meet Revolutionary Algorithms, a licensed Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Enterprise that gives modern improvements for safety and protection. This firm has taken a low-cost desktop 3D printer and produced a secure finish product used as a element in a fancy protection system. Be a part of us to find how Revolutionary Algorithms graduated from experimental prototyping to completed product using 3D printing.

In trade, additive manufacturing and desktop 3D printing are used extensively within the design and prototyping part of a full product answer. It’s a well-known that firms and/or organizations that don’t take part in these iterative prototyping processes are being left behind. Now, 3D printing has made inroads into the manufacturing course of, from the design and manufacture of jigs and fixtures to low price manufacturing of parts as a part of product assemblies. Revolutionary Algorithms, a modern supplier of improvements for safety and protection, has taken full benefit of 3D printing capabilities. With its Phalanx Protect™ answer, desktop 3D printing has turn into an integral instrument in offering superior capabilities and components to the Division of Protection (DoD), Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) and different governmental businesses and organizations.

The Phalanx Shield

The Phalanx Protect

Procurement of services and products within the DoD falls beneath the purview of the Protection Acquisition System. Acquisition of bodily merchandise on this area is analogous to the complete product life cycle that’s frequent in most industries. The method begins the place wants and/or functionality gaps are analyzed and necessities are gathered to find out if current merchandise or options exist. If nothing exists to fulfill the said necessities, then the preliminary part of the product life cycle begins in earnest.

An instance of DoD’s product lifecycle in motion is of the Phalanx Protect™ answer. The genesis of the Phalanx Protect™ might be traced to the previous expertise of Revolutionary Algorithms Founder/CEO, Jay Chesnut. Jay’s time as a Naval Aviator uncovered him to the necessity for improved, sustainable safety and surveillance methods that weren’t at present accessible. Because of real-time occasions, Phalanx Protect™ was developed to enhance DoD’s and DHS’s current capabilities.  At present, Phalanx Protect™ has been examined and confirmed by way of two Expertise Readiness Assessments (TRAs) and is designated at Expertise Readiness Stage 8 (TRL 8), a stage the place options, interfaces, and supplies are confirmed and validated to assist full manufacturing. What’s so outstanding concerning the TRL 8 designation is that the present Phalanx Protect™  answer has desktop 3D printed parts. At low manufacturing ranges, 3D printed parts will proceed to be a part of the tip product.  This ends in the financial savings realized by the avoidance of tooling and molds, and likewise in a value and time financial savings supplied by on-demand, Simply In Time (JIT) fabrication processes. The financial savings is a direct results of the introduction of 3D printing to the product lifecycle.

With the success of the Phalanx Protect™ answer, Revolutionary Algorithms is exploring different areas through which 3D printing could also be utilized in different features of the product lifecycle. Sustainability is one space that’s ripe for change the place product inventories are dictated and the restore and reconfiguration of current merchandise and options are facilitated by 3D printing. Regardless of the case, 3D printing is for certain to be an integral functionality as a part of the complete product lifecycle.


Procurement of services and products by the DoD is a bit more concerned than simply utilizing a bank card to buy on-line. Most of the merchandise which might be wanted by the DoD, DHS and different governmental entities have specialised necessities that successfully exclude many off-the-shelf merchandise. Many instances this can be a results of the setting through which the product will probably be used. Usually when in harsh terrain or the place merchandise will probably be dealt with roughly, the answer will should be “hardened” to resist shock, influence, temperature fluctuations and hostile environments. Because of this, new and/or current applied sciences should be designed and fabricated not solely to function however to outlive in these opposed situations. That is the rationale why many instruments and merchandise procured by DoD and different governmental businesses have a better value than comparable options within the industrial sector.

With additive manufacturing and desktop 3D printing, the acquisition life cycle is poised to save lots of on the price of improvement, prototyping, fabrication, and sustainability of the product and product options compared to the normal life cycle. As well as, what is usually misplaced within the quantitative evaluation is the elevated productiveness, innovation, collaboration and improved high quality afforded by 3D printing. In accordance with Tasha Keeney, an ARK Funding Analyst, “3D printing will collapse the time between design and manufacturing. It would shorten lead instances, cut back prototype prices, produce lighter merchandise and supply for larger design complexity in manufacturing.” All of those parts are realized as a result of capabilities that 3D brings to the procurement desk.

As within the industrial sector, governmental organizations are trying to grasp how 3D printing applied sciences will have an effect on the best way they do enterprise and the way they are going to procure, deploy and maintain full product options over the life cycle of the product. Many envision a complete provide chain transformation of delivering fabrication capabilities nearer to the tip consumer. Different areas of transformation embrace system upkeep, logistics and the flexibility to supply hard-to-source components. Even whereas DoD, DHS and different governmental entities are exploring how desktop 3D printing and additive manufacturing will have an effect on their acquisition mannequin, they can take some cues from their product suppliers within the industrial sector.

Downside Definition

The general acquisition problem is to find out how distributors, suppliers, and contractors will meet the wants of army and governmental prospects in delivering product options in a well timed method and at a decreased value.

Excessive-Stage Resolution

Revolutionary Algorithms is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Enterprise that gives modern improvements for safety and protection.  The corporate realized that the one method to ship merchandise and options on time and at decreased value was to make the most of the capabilities supplied by desktop 3D printing. Because of this, Revolutionary Algorithms has utilized a low-cost desktop 3D printer has taken an experimental prototype and delivered a completed product that’s getting used at the moment.

Throughout the improvement of the Phalanx Protect™ functionality, 3D printing was utilized from the beginning. In accordance with Revolutionary Algorithms Founder/CEO, Jay Chesnut, “3D printing gave us the liberty to innovate and take probabilities. Solely by way of 3D printing might we actively discover, progress and validate an entire answer that exceeded the client’s wants and necessities.” Throughout the design and prototyping part (see Determine 2), 3D printing was pivotal within the iterative design course of. Iterative design will increase productiveness and innovation by permitting the designer to prototype and take a look at a number of choices earlier than narrowing in on a ultimate design. It additionally improves the standard of the tip product by ensuring that every one parts combine and function nicely earlier than spending sources on tooling and fabrication.

Initial Prototype

Preliminary Prototype

Throughout the previous 4 years, the collection of supply supplies and filament for desktop 3D printers has elevated dramatically. The unique desktop filament picks of ABS and PLA have given method to product prepared supplies resembling TPE, TPU, Nylon, PETG, and Polycarbonate. The product of selection for the outside and inside casing of the Phalanx Protect™ sensor was PETG. “PETG has been an amazing materials to fulfill the necessities of sturdiness and talent to resist harsh situations required by our prospects,” said Chesnut.

Outer Casing

Outer Casing

PETG proved to be a superb materials for prototyping in addition to a superb materials for the ultimate product. “We’ve got but to obtain an order giant sufficient to justify injection molding,” said Chesnut. “We’ve got already coordinated with a number of injection molders who will be capable of transition from 3D printing to full-scale manufacturing. As a way to do this, we are going to want an order within the low a whole bunch to justify utilizing injection molding. Since we take additional effort within the post-processing of the housing, most don’t even know they’re 3D printed. People who don’t are stunned we have been capable of obtain such a excessive stage of high quality.” Revolutionary Algorithms realized that desktop 3D printing supplied a versatile finish answer at an inexpensive value and with out having to allocate the time and sources needed for tooling, injection molding, and full manufacturing.

Completed Sensor Before Exterior Finishing

Accomplished Sensor Earlier than Exterior Ending

Resolution Particulars

The Phalanx Protect™ unmanned floor sensor system was derived from a real-world want and developed and produced using superior applied sciences to incorporate desktop 3D printing. Earlier sensors lacked sturdiness and the aptitude to adapt to altering situations and community configurations. Options to this want have been then simply explored and developed using superior networking applied sciences, energy sources and 3D printing.

With 3D printing, speedy prototyping really turned speedy. Designs have been configured, reconfigured and iterated every day. Purposeful prototypes using a variety of supplies and parts have been simply produced and variations have been positioned in a real-world A/B testing setting. The ultimate prototype and proposed answer have been then prepared for Expertise Readiness Assessments (TRAs) on two completely different events whereas working by way of the DoD acquisition course of. Chesnut said that “3D printing supplied an unlimited quantity of flexibility whereas going by way of the acquisition course of. We have been capable of higher outline the necessities and even adapt higher product kind and performance with out dropping any time in the course of the course of.”

In accordance with Chesnut, “As we progressed from TRL 3 to TRL 5, we have been capable of iterate with completely different kind elements. Progressing from TRL 5 to TRL 8, we have been capable of fulfill ergonomic and tactile concerns to make a product prospects need to contact and really feel. Each firm needs a possible buyer to fall in love together with your product, or a minimum of suppose it’s cool to the touch and maintain.”

The Phalanx Protect™ product answer was capable of obtain a Expertise Readiness Stage 8 (TRL 8) with its present design using PETG as a 3D printed supply materials (see Determine 5). “PETG supplied the mandatory tensile power and stability whereas leaving sufficient choices for buyer adjustments earlier than we go to TRL 9,” said Chesnut. “That is the good benefit of 3D printing earlier than transitioning to excessive price injection molding.”

Finished Product

Completed Product

Enterprise Advantages

The expertise of Revolutionary Algorithms with desktop 3D printing shouldn’t be distinctive. Many firms and organizations within the protection area are experiencing the identical outcomes. Organizations are recording value financial savings not solely on the design and improvement finish but in addition on downstream capabilities resembling manufacturing, fielding, and sustainment. Iterative, repeatable processes save time and speed up the velocity of innovation. Purposeful prototypes using a variety of supplies are actually the norm and product answer firms may even discover the shape and performance of finish merchandise earlier than transitioning to full manufacturing. Mass customization and manufacturing on an as wanted, JIT foundation are actually attainable. All of this has been realized on the preliminary insertion of desktop 3D printing capabilities.

Planned Next Generation Design

Deliberate Subsequent Era Design

Interior of Case for Planned Next Generation Design

Inside of Case for Deliberate Subsequent Era Design


The acquisition of services and products by the DoD, DHS and different governmental businesses has simply skilled the primary wave of the results of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Subsequent waves will embody, low quantity manufacturing, digital stock, product enhancement and obsolescence mitigation. From a listing perspective, the flexibility to fabricate components on-site might result in a major discount in extra stock. The Navy, for instance, discovered $7.5 billion price of extra stock in 2008.

This chance for value discount alongside your entire product lifecycle is a big motivation for adoption of this know-how. In accordance with Lieutenant Commander Michael E. Kenney of the Naval Postgraduate Faculty, use of additive manufacturing within the acquisition life cycle would produce a “…return on funding of 221.24%.” Commander Kenney additionally said that by way of additive manufacturing within the upkeep cycle“…the quantity of rework was decreased by 45%, affecting and thereby decreasing the period of time to supply and restore components from 39.5 man hours to 22.7 man hours, a discount of 57%.”  These are highly effective arguments for the implementation and use of 3D printing applied sciences.

As additive manufacturing and desktop 3D printing capabilities have developed, so have the actual world eventualities and finish use circumstances. People who wait to experience the 3D printing know-how wave might be left behind. It’s crucial that every one product and repair producers discover the combination of this know-how into their particular person enterprise processes to stay aggressive.

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