CDE themed competition: additive manufacturing

Further information on this Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) competition for £750,000 research funding.


Additive manufacturing competition document

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The total budget for this competition is £750,000.


Additive manufacturing involves the layer-by-layer deposition of materials using digitally controlled machine tools. The term covers a wide range of techniques, including 3D printing, direct melting techniques (such as laser and e-beam) and wire-feed processes.

We’d like to see demonstrations of how, from a military perspective, additive manufacturing techniques could be used to quickly add functionality to structures (rigid or flexible), so they can have more than one function. Particular military requirements we’d like to address include:

  • making things more lightweight by embedding rechargeable power sources
  • improving signal processing by integrating electronics
  • improving situational awareness or enhancing security by embedding sensors
  • enhancing protection by integrating novel camouflage or stealth technologies directly into or onto structures, rather than retrofitting
  • reducing the logistics burden by enabling bespoke military equipment to be rapidly built, adapted or modified close to the point of use

This CDE themed competition will have a 2-phase approach. The initial phase will work towards producing design concepts and a proof of principle, ideally with a working demonstrator. Proposals should expect to be working towards technology readiness level (TRL) 2-3. A description of TRLs is available in the Acquisition Operating Framework. Following a review of phase-1 deliverables, promising concepts may be selected for phase-2 funding to increase the maturity of the concept, including the production of higher TRL demonstrators.

View the presentation slides that were briefed at the event.

A webinar for this competition was held on Friday 4 July 2014.

Technical team email:

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue
Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX


Telephone +44 (0)30 67704236

Alternative number +44 (0)30 67704237

Please email for the quickest response.

Published 30 June 2014
Last updated 28 August 2014 + show all updates
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  2. First published.