Jan 18, 2013
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US Military invests in front line Rapid Prototyping

Recent reports indicate that the US military is developing its own range of 3D printers, designed to enable soldiers on the front line to quickly and cheaply produce space parts for their equipment.

By bringing this emerging technology to the battlefield spare parts and sensitive equipment for devices such as GPS receivers and air drones can be produced onsite rather than waiting on parts from overseas.

In a statement released by operations research analyst D. Shannon Berry it was announced that 3D printers small and light enough to be easily carried in a backpack could be used to in place of a massive manufacturing logistics chain when sourcing spare parts for military equipment. Further announcements from military research facilities include the development of 3D printers costing just $700 (compared to at least $2000 for commercial models)

While the development of 3D printing for front-line military manufacturing proves a controversial topic, it further highlights the growing interest in 3D printing technologies and follows President Obama’s investment of $30 million government funding in the development of a national 3D printing center in Ohio.


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