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US Army Scientists Showcase Multi-Material 3D Printing and Other Technological Advancements

by • August 8, 2016 • No Comments

ARLLogoWhen it comes to advancing the say of our 3D printing technology, one of the leading sectors that prompt this technology is the military sector, particularly that of the United States. Equipped with a hefty budget and a few of the country’s brightest engineers, the US Army has managed to use additive making to enhance their own gear, as well as the technology itself. From synthetic human skulls that test protective gear, to body armor inspired by complete scales, and actually to nutritionally enhanced military meals, the US Army has utilized 3D printing technology in a number of one-of-a-kind and proactive ways.

But, one issue with leaving all of the technology up to the military sector is that the general public may not be allowed to see it for themselves. During a visit to the White Oak, Maryland-based Army Research Laboratory, Robert O. Work, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Deputy Secretary, succeded in the opportunity to see the latest creates of military-grade tech, much of that relied heavily on 3D printing technology.

quadcop_armyWork visited last week with scientists and engineers of the lab to check out technologies that fit in with the DoD’s “Third Offset Strategy” vision, that comes with projects relating to robotics, miniaturization, and additive making that can store the Army one step ahead of the rest. During Work’s visit, the lab’s scientists demonstrated their progress in 3D printing with multiple materials, having engineered a single machine that is capable-bodied of printing withan array of high end materials. The goal of this particular project is the one day have a 3D printing device that is useful for all applications, whether that be a metal car part or ceramic-based body armor.

“We’re working on structural hybridization. We have a facility with additive making, or 3-D printing equipment. It is not feasible for us to send that into the field — at very least not right now,” explained LJ Holmes, the laboratory’s lead for additive making.

“We have equipment specifically created to print metals, but through the work we’ve done here… we can system metals, ceramics, polymers and glass on one machine.”

The Army engineers in addition showcased a robot that is able-bodied to explore its terrain in real time and provide situational awareness to its human operator. Essentially, the team of scientists and engineers are looking to bring robotics of a tool to a team member, that can assist store soldiers safer and additional informed of their surrounding environment. One Army scientist, named Dr. Jean Vettel, in addition demonstrated how they are capturing data of the brain to enhance machine learning, that they hope can assist create a stronger relationship between soldiers and machines.

“Whenever we want humans and machines to work well together as a team, one of the challenges is how to get additional knowledge of the human,” Dr. Vettel said. “Our goal is to find out how we can do neuroscience where we can begin quantifying people and and so create individualized technologies.”

Work and the quadcopter capable-bodied of carrying 300 pounds of supplies

Work and the quadcopter capable-bodied of carrying 300 pounds of supplies

Work was in addition shown the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), a quadcopter that is able-bodied to carry up to 300 pounds for cargo for a 10-mile duration. The Army plans to use the JTARV to rapidly send supplies and ammunition to soldiers on the field. In addition, the lab showcased technological makes it to in active armor protection and materials sciences, painting an altogether new picture for Work and the DoD.

These technological advancements may not seem to mean much to our day to day lives, but they pretty have grave importance on a global scale. Not just can these technologys be utilized for war and preserving the peace, they may in addition be passed down to the public sector in the near next, and for instance, may maybe provide a leading game-changer for multi-material 3D printing. Discuss additional over in the Army 3D Printing forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: US Army / Images: Jhi Scott, ARL Public Affairs]