As the number of materials 3D printers are compatible with grows, so do the applications. And the U.S. Army knows that: It is considering using the emerging technology for applications as diverse as feeding soldiers and building weapons.
The most recent issue of the Army Technology magazine says the military branch is currently researching 3D printing the following:
- Parts to build or repair tools
- Weapons like guns and warheads
- Skin and other organs
- Medical equipment
- Food for soldiers
- Clothing, armor and gear
- 3D models
The applications are a mix of scary, life-saving and downright mundane. 3D printing can make it easier to build a warhead or gun, but also faster and simpler to quickly refine them because it is so suited to prototyping.
But innovations like printing patches of skin for injured soldiers are revolutionary, and army researchers’ work could quickly find its way into civilian hospitals as well…
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