The future of military design is near. And, it's remarkable.
The U.S. Military has invested in 3D printing on the frontline. This means that, theoretically, spare weapons parts can be produced on the field of battle. How? In mobile production labs, formed in shipping containers at a cost of $2.8 million, CNC machines and 3D printers make parts in aluminum, plastic, and steel—most regularly for replacement GPS receivers. This cuts down wait, dramatically, for new deliveries (which could take weeks). Additionally, The Future Warfare center at Space and Missile Defense Command had developed its own 3D printer at a cost of $1,300 less than commercial varieties.
The printers have already been tested in Afghanistan. $30 million has been invested in a 3D printing center in Youngstown, Ohio. Now, the full potential of the new design technology is being realized.