Army Explores 3-D Printing's Future Applications for Soldiers, Force

Army Explores 3-D Printing's Future Applications for Soldiers, Force
May 8, 2017 | Source: U.S. Army, army.mil, 30 November 2016, Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, RDECOM Public Affairs

A Soldier heads back to camp, grabs a power bar and unloads his gear. The power bar, which was "printed" minutes earlier, contains all the nutrients his body currently needs, according to sensors that are embedded in his uniform.

While this may sound like a scene from a sci-fi movie, engineers and scientists at the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) are looking at ways to use additive manufacturing (aka 3-D printing) to make it a reality.

"The vision is to be able to have additive manufacturing as a tool in the toolbox so that Soldiers can manufacture and produce a product as close to the point of need as possible," said Andy Davis, program manager for the Army's Manufacturing Technology program (ManTech).