People who think that this digital age has given enough assistance to mankind with technology and it’s the maximum that we can get, they should probably give it a second thought. This is just the beginning of a far more revolutionized age and 3D printing is the new revolution in the industrial sector. However, not many realize that 3D printing was in existence since 1980..
The use of metal, fabric and wood in the new 3D printers would lead to major historical changes in the field of engineering. 3D printing can be applied into many industrial and non-industrial fields. Some of the popular applications includes building construction and medical sector. However, recent news updates have reported that the 3D printing would soon be implied into the defense industry as well.
The news sources report that the U.S. military is heavily investing in the technology for uniforms, food and to print synthetic skin for the purpose of treating battle wounds. Researchers have also been experimenting on the 4D technology, which is capable of creating or printing materials that could change when it comes in contact with other elements such as water. This could possibly mean that a soldier’s uniform could change color depending on its surroundings and environment.
Defense firms across various countries are experimenting with the new technology to come up with some revolutionary measures that could change a nation’s defense sector totally. For example; BAE Systems, the British Defense firm had put the first metal printed part in the tornado jet fighter.
Matt Stevens, head of the BAE's 3D printing division says, "It's long term, but it's certainly our end goal to manufacture an aerial vehicle in its entirety using 3D printing technology."
The market for 3D printing is young and booming and holds lot of potentials for the manufacturers and market investors to explore. The report titled “Global 3D Printing Material Market, (Type, Forms, Applications, Geography ) - Size, Share, Global Trends, Company Profiles, Demand, Insights, Analysis, Research, Report, Opportunities, Segmentation and Forecast, 2012 – 2020,” provides deep analysis of the global 3D printing material market in order to provide the readers with exclusive information on the global market.
It no longer matters what you print from the 3D printer, however where you print is another thing. 3D printers can also be used by the soldiers on the warfront- now that is a revolution in the defense industry. However, that could affect the U.S. economy where defense firms and ammunition factories are spread across the country and is also a source of employment for many people living there.
“Defense contractors want to sell you an item but also want to own the supply chain for 50 years. But now you'll have soldiers in an austere outpost in somewhere like Afghanistan who can pull down the software for a spare part, tweak the design and print it out," says Peter W Singer, an expert in future warfare at New America Foundation.
He further adds, “"The U.S. has sanctioned everything from fighter jet spare parts to oil equipment. 3-D printing could turn sanctions, which have been a crucial part of foreign policy for a generation or more into an antiquated notion."
With all the advantages, 3D printing also threatens the economies by hampering many industries and manufacturers across the globe dealing in retail goods or products such as toys, clothes, etc.