The Army's developing its own, cheaper 3D printers

Perhaps inspired by the possibility of endless bacon (because who wouldn't be?), the United States Army is hard at work developing their own brand of 3D printer. Claiming the high price tags of commercial ones, the army has thus far produced much cheaper versions.

Early versions cost about $695. Compare that to the $3,000 for your everyday 3D printer. These versions are being developed at the Future Warfare center at the US Army's Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), which is stationed in Alabama.

The printer has some pretty obvious high-impact possibilities for the army, including the ability to continuously supply front lines as needed.

Case in point: "The ability to replicate parts quickly and cheaply is a huge benefit to the warfighter," said D Shannon Berry, an operations research analyst at the Future Warfare office. "Instead of needing a massive manufacturing logistics chain, a device that generates replacement parts is now small and light enough to be easily carried in a backpack or on a truck."


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