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ASTRO America has been selected by the US Army to manage a new effort called the Jointless Hull project.

The initiative will explore the use of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology to develop a ‘hull-scale tool’ for the US Army.

The Jointless Hull project seeks to deliver enhanced production speeds, minimised production costs, lower vehicle weight and improved survivability.

ASTRO America executive director Jason Gorey said: “This is an ideal project for ASTRO America and its highly experienced team.

“This is not a research project for either hardware, software or materials. This is a direct implementation project where we scale existing but advanced methodologies to the required hull-scale size.”

This project is being contracted through LIFT, the US Department of Defense (DoD)-supported national manufacturing innovation institute.

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The technical programme is being directed by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC).

Furthermore, US Army’s Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing Technology Center serves as a key partner on this project.

Army TPOC for the Jointless Hull project Aaron LaLonde said: “Advanced manufacturing methods that are capable of enabling innovative part designs and concepts have tremendous value in achieving part, component and, ultimately, vehicle concepts to provide warfighters and systems with leading performance advantages.

“This project will scale the benefits of metal additive manufacturing to a size range that will allow the benefits of the technology to be realised on larger system scale parts and enable next-generation vehicle performance.”

ASTRO America has already started with the project’s ‘Industry Day’ featuring both machine vendors and vehicle builders.