Legal Aspects of Additive Manufacturing in the Military Logistics

Samu Rautio, Timo Tuomi, Jan Sher Akmal

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The use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in military logistics is limited by the uncertainty about the legal risks of using the method. The purpose of this study was to identify the potential legal risks associated with AM of military materiel and its effects. The study was conducted as a case study, where AM is considered in military logistics. Legal issues were approached from the normative point of view in the context of potential legal dispute situations in four different cases. The topic was studied by reviewing and analyzing literature sources, official sources, and Finnish Defence Forces military materiel purchasing contracts and interviews. The study interpreted and systematized the general principles of IPR and contract law when using AM in the military. An identified result of the study was that the use of AM to print military materiel under normal conditions may entail risks that should be contractually managed. In other cases, e.g. crises or wartime, there are risks, but they are difficult to predict and manage or are acceptable. The results of the study concern countries with a similar military economic system to Finland in terms of military logistics. The results can be applied to the activities of different security sectors, due to the similarity of their activities. The use of AM can enable the material to be used in safety situations where speed and versatility are required for material readiness. The use of the method requires a legal right, the holder of which has the right to manufacture the product. In different situations, the legal basis is open to interpretation and may pose risks to the decision-maker. The research will provide information to decision-makers for the preparation of contracts for the acquisition and maintenance of military material and implementing AM to military logistics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-195
Number of pages43
JournalSecurity Dimensions
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Military logistics
  • 3D Printing
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Contract law
  • Immaterial Property Rights
  • Legal Risks


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