Related publications: Additive manufacturing
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an evolving technology that can produce objects from plastics and metals. It works by building up layers of material hardened by a laser. The process is driven by computers that generate the enabling laser beams from highly detailed computer drawings and models. The parts that can be produced can be accurate copies of the enabling drawings, but they will have different material properties from items produced by traditional manufacturing such as casting, forging and machining.
Additive manufacturing (AM), also referred to as ‘3D printing’, is a rapidly developing technology. AM enables the production of objects of virtually any shape by depositing and bonding together successive layers of material. AM machines are increasingly capable of producing a variety of items for aerospace and missile applications which are subject to dual-use export controls. The increasing capabilities of AM machines—in combination with their reliance on intangible transfers of technology (ITT)—have raised concerns in the multilateral export control regimes.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a rapidly developing technology with a growing range of applications, especially in the aerospace and defence industry. This SIPRI Paper examines the current state of AM and the potential options and considerations when expanding controls on it.
Technological advances in the biological sciences have long presented a challenge to efforts to maintain biosecurity and prevent the proliferation of biological weapons. The convergence of developments in biotechnology with other, emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and robotics has increased the possibilities for the development and use of biological weapons.