Portable 3D Printer Being Developed For U.S. Military

Headed By Global Leader in 3D Scanning and Printing

ExOne is a well-known company that is one of the best global leaders in manufacturing. They provide industrial 3D printing as well as 3D laser scanning. The U.S. Department of Defense has always been one to jump on the latest technology to improve their systems and upgrade a lot of their equipment. It is no surprise they have recruited ExOne to up their defense game. 

ExOne has a new goal of creating a portable 3D printer (industrial) for the U.S. Department of Defense. This new printer is currently under development. This machine will be set in a shipping container that will help the military be equipped with everything they need in the field. 

This could help bring new pieces to equipment that is breaking down or upgrade a weapon in a time of need. This is a faster solution than asking for parts to be shipped overseas. Whatever is needed, the item can be scanned using a 3D laser scanning device and then printed while in the field using the portable 3D printer

How 3D laser scanning works

3D laser scanning works by taking rapid pictures of an object. Once the photographs are completed, it sends the information to a CAD (or computer-aided program) where it can be edited. The photos are overlapped, which creates a full image. The piece that is needed or broken can be inspected, data can help fill in the gaps, and once the final image is complete, it can be sent to a printer. 

How 3D printing works

3D printing is one of the coolest pieces of technology we have on this planet. Pairing it with 3D laser scanning can be phenomenal. One picks up accurate information. The other prints that information. 

It works by reading the instructions from a computer. Any user can upload those instructions, and the 3D printer does the rest of the work. It prints material layer by layer to create shapes of all different sizes that are actually usable.

Why 3D printing is good for the defense industry 

Having one of these out on the battlefields could save thousands of lives. When a piece to a weapon is needed, that weapon has to be put aside, and a different one has to be put in use. Instead of waiting months for the piece to get overseas, this machine can take all of the information and print it. 

This is a way to create less work for people, more efficient items that work, and can help update old equipment. Many branches of the military have decided to adopt 3D laser scanning and printing to update their procedures and even help train their soldiers. 

Final thoughts

There is something so spectacular about the way 3D laser scanning works. It can be more precise than any human and capture microscopic details that would typically go missed. It is no wonder that 3D printing and 3D scanning have paired so well. It does an entire job in less time and can be easier to use than you would think. This technology continues to change our world and emerge in unexpected places.  

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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