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Report:​ 3D printing creates unprecedented range of military threats – 3ders.org (blog)

by • April 10, 2016 • No Comments

Apr 11, 2016 | By Alec

Throughout the twentieth century, the military has been one of the main drivers behind scientific, engineering and medical developments, so it’s in no way surprising that the military is now in addition one of the main beneficiaries of 3D printing innovation. As you can know, the US military – just like other worthwhile powers in the world – is readily adopting 3D printing innovation, for anything of drones to rocket engines and missile systems. But in a new report of the Cato Institute, written by a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, the military should in addition store a quite close eye on threats made through 3D printing innovation, that has the power to essentially alter warfare.
The Cato Institute, of course, is a US libertarian ponder tank based in Washington and backed by the Koch brothers. But sometimes criticized for their uncaningness to accept alter, their report by retired Marine infantry officer T.X. Hammes is in fact all of alter. Hammes is an tremendous of asymmetrical warfare, the type of war in that tiny powers (like the Taliban) fight a military giant by avoiding their enemy’s strengths altogether and just striking their weaknesses.
In his report, entitled Technologies Converge and Power Diffuses, he argues that terrorists and tiny enemy states can turn it into an unprecedented range of military threats abroad and within the US, via inexpensive technologies such 3D printing, nanoinnovation drones, and artificial intelligence. “The convergence of these new and improving technologies is creating a huge increase in capabilities on the market to tinyer and tinyer political entities—extending actually to the individual. This increase provides tinyer powers with capabilities that utilized to be the protect of primary powers. Moreover, these tiny, smart, and bargain-priced weapons based on land, sea, or air may be able-bodied to dominate combat,” he writes.

In response to these alters, the US can need to alter their national strategies, procurement plans, force structure, and force posture. “The diffusion of power can in addition greatly complicate U.S. responses to different types of crises, reduce its capacity to effects actuallyts with military force, and should need policymanufacturers and military planners to thoughtfully consider upcoming policies and strategy,” he says.
Of course it is sensible for any military force to adjust to and accommodate technological alters, but 3D printing is a serious game alterr, Hammes argues. It can be utilized to 3D print anything of military-purpose drones that are eager to fly, and actually seaborne or land-crawling drones that can attack of any side. Even explosion-based penetrators can be 3D printed: copper discs that are turned into tank-destroying weapons by harnessing explosive power. 3D printing devices, he argues, may easily be carried and set up near a battlefield, unlike existing military factories.
Now our computer desktop 3D printing devices aren’t precisely suitable-bodied for those kinds of designs yet, but 3D printing innovation is improving at a staggering rate and is creating new possibilities constantly. “The global explosion of additive making means it is virtually not easy to provide an up-to-date list of materials that can be 3D printed. […] Additive making has gone of being able-bodied to manufacture just a few prototypes to being able-bodied to create products in sizeable quantities,” he argues. “At the same time, additive making is dramatically increasing the complexity of objects it can create while simultaneously improving speed and precision. Recent technological developments suggest that industry can be able-bodied to increase 3D printing speeds by a factor of a hundred, with a goal of a thousand fold increase.” And with innovation prices decreasing constantly, how long can it take, Hammes wonders, for insurgents to set up a tiny factory to 3D print swarms of military drones?

Combine that with other upcoming technologies, such as tiny satellites and nanoexplosives (tinyer, devastating explosions packed into ‘kamikaze’ drones), and it’s obvious that this may become a serious threat in the near upcoming. Some of the newest drones can aleager remain in the skies for up to 40 hours – long adequate to travel of one continent to the upcoming and probably threatening US civilians. “Many states, and actually insurgent or terrorist groups, can be able-bodied to project force at intercontinental range. Very long-range drone aircraft and submersibles provide the capcapacity to strike air and sea ports of debarkation—and maybe actually embarkation. The United States can no longer project power anywhere in the world with impunity. This can turn it into primary political problems in sustaining a U.S. military campaign both domestically and internationally,” Hammes argues.
Hammes thus paints us a quite grim picture. What can take place to the safety of US allies, when a bargain-priced 3D printed drone can threaten a tank? But of course it’s a two-way street. Similar to so most of its NATO and Asian allies, the US is aleager extensively looking into 3D printing, and how to combat it. Missile systems specifically created to shoot down drones are aleager being created. But thanks to the internet, there’s no such thing as deplete military dominance anymore, Hammes argues. “The proliferation of these capabilities can greatly complicate U.S. responses to different types of crises and can reduce our capacity to effects actuallyts with military force. […] The Department of Defense needs to run complex experiments to know the character of such a conflict,” he concludes.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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Joris Peels wrote at 4/11/2016 4:13:22 PM:
I wrote an article on 3D printed drone swarms and why we need to ponder of 3D printing and war: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3d-printed-drone-swarms-upcoming-war-joris-peels

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