3D printing is a manufacturing technique with an immense amount of potential, and the U.S. military has seen it, too. For several years, the military has been working to integrate 3D printing into its operations.
While still in the experimental stages, 3D printing has been used to improvise solutions that reduce risk to troops in the field. Marines in field training have used 3D printing to create a footbridge that was lightweight but strong enough to use, allowing them to place it in rough, hard-to-reach areas. Using 3D printing to create useful structures allows for a lot of flexibility that was not available with pre-fabricated hardware. Structures can be made to the appropriate dimensions and ideal shapes to suit the environment.
3D printing has also been used by the military to create parts on site when repairs are needed for vehicles. This allows for units to be more self-sufficient, working with a stock of raw materials to print exactly what they need when they need it. There is no need to keep vital stocks of parts that may or may not be used, some of which are large and difficult to store. 3D printing can make a variety of different parts of various dimensions from the exact same material.
For the same reason, 3D printing is perfect for fabricating archaic parts. The military uses a variety of equipment, some of which are very old. Replacement parts may not be readily available. With 3D printing, it’s possible to easily replace those archaic parts when needed in contrast to trying to find them on the market or make them through more traditional means.
3D printing has only just started to impact military operations. There is a lot of unexplored potential that can help the men and women of all military branches perform their missions more safely and efficiently. At Jawstec, we’re proud to be a part of these changes. Our team is highly knowledgeable and is always searching for the newest and most innovative uses for 3D printing. Contact us today to see how we can help you.