Austere 3D Printing

Assessment Event (AE)

28-29 October 2020
Submissions Closed 20 September 11:59 PM ET 



SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM Program Manager – Expeditionary Support (PM-ES), will conduct an Austere 3D Printing Assessment Event (AE) to identify 3D printer capabilities designed to meet the unique requirements of Special Operations Forces (SOF) Operators in austere environments.

Problem Statement 
3D printing technologies in the United States have been widely adopted as manufacturing processes within the Department of Defense (DoD) and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), specifically within the Mobile Technology & Repair Complex (MTRC) program of record for the PM-ES. However, current U.S. commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 3D printers are not designed to meet the unique SOF requirements (i.e. size, weight, power, mobility, survivability, etc.) needed in support of USSOCOM SOF missions.

Desired End State
Evaluate existing U.S. COTS 3D printing technologies for viability to be modified and/or optimized into modified/new U.S. COTS 3D printing systems to support current operational requirements while concurrently supporting the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) program. IBAS aims to achieve the strategic goal of a strong, resilient, responsive, and healthy U.S. Industrial Base that improves the DoD’s force readiness posture. The system attributes are the following:

  • U.S. 3D printer technologies designed, developed, produced, manufactured, and/or supported predominantly in the United States.
  • U.S. 3D printer technologies that are self-contained, ruggedized, mobile, and capable of printing at SOF point of need in a wide array of environmental conditions.
  • U.S. 3D printer technologies that allow for forward deployment, into the field, at the point of SOF equipment failure, reduce hardware replacement times, enable SOF Operator innovation, are reliable, and/or are easy to operate and maintain.

In concert with the system attributes above, the USSOCOM MTRC program is interested in assessing 3D printer technologies ranging from small – single SOF Operator portable systems with niche capabilities that can be hand-carried and/or transported via non-standard commercial vehicles, to moderate – SOF Team portable systems with robust adaptive manufacturing capabilities that can be palletized and/or transported by C-130 aircraft.

What is an Assessment Event (AE)?
USSOCOM submits specific problems to solve and SOFWERX utilizes its ecosystem and market research to attract best-of-breed submissions to solve the problem. USSOCOM, subsequently, reviews, and selects participants with the highest value to present and/or demonstrate their capability in a one-on-one session with Government Stakeholders.

Event Overview

Completed Phase 1 – 28 August 2020 to 30 September 2020 Submissions Open: Interested respondents who could potentially provide 3D printer solutions that meet the needs of the Government Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their solutions per the instructions below NLT 30 September.

Completed Phase 1b: 09 September 2020 Q&A Telecon: Interested offerors may participate in a virtual Q&A session to better understand the intent of the effort by USSOCOM. The telecon will take place on 09 September from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET. Click Here to RSVP and Submit Questions (NLT 08 September)

Completed Phase 2 – 01 October 2020 to 12 October 2020 Downselects: USSOCOM will downselect those respondents/submissions they feel have the highest potential to satisfy their 3D printer technology needs. Companies with favorably evaluated submissions will receive an invitation to the Assessment Event (Phase 3) o/a 12 October.

Completed Phase 3 – 28 October 2020 to 29 October 2020 Assessment Event (AE): During the event, invited participants will be allotted a one-on-one virtual session with the USSOCOM evaluation panel to pitch, demonstrate, and/or discuss their 3D printer solutions. The forum will include a Q&A portion and discussions may continue outside of the event to determine who (if anyone) proceeds to Phase 4.

Phase 4 – TBD SOFWERX B2B Agreement: During this phase, the final awardee(s) from Phase 3 will be offered a SOFWERX B2B agreement to further develop their 3D printing capability commensurate with the notional schedule at the bottom of the webpage.

Phase 5 – Follow-On/Path Forward: PM-ES has several alternate acquisition/contract vehicles (i.e. various IDIQ contracts, purchase orders, etc.) to potentially purchase the “Final COTS Like System” if operationally viable. PM-ES may elect to purchase all, some, and/or none of the 3D printing solutions from Phase 4 for use in the MTRC program and/or other DoD programs.


For event-related questions, please contact Kinsey Crim,