3D scanning has been used in the military as far as the 60s. The U.S. military has been at the top of their game when it comes to technology and them using 3D technology just makes them even more advanced.
Maneuver Support, Sustainment, Protection, Integration Experiment, are the four sectors they created to create a greater military equipment using 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. It even has a budget of $700 million last year.
Mike McCarthy, deputy to the commanding general for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Ft. Leonard Wood explained, “Using this process takes 40 percent less time from concept to fielding new technology than traditional methods. It also has a significant cost saving. You don’t have to go back and fix it after fielding.”
Not only those but, the military also has FARO Focus Laser Scanners. Though not used in the military war zones, it is used in many law enforcement agencies to document crime scenes in 3D. It is used because of its ability to make 800,000 3D measurements per second. This 3D scanning technology is also capable of detailed mapping out route and route-making for a battlefield.
FARO Technologies stated that this 3D scanning technology can “record crime scene data in just 40 minutes, and it scans everything, even bullet trajectories, and bloodstain patterns.” Human error is unlikely to happen with this type of advanced technology.
Benefits of 3D Scanning In The Military
Replacement of parts – since some military bases can be in far-flung places, it would be easier for them to just scan the part of the area and 3D print the object again rather than waiting for the new replacement part from the head base of the military. For example, a ship or vessel needs a new chair, or a new propeller, they would just scan the old one and 3D print a new one.
Prototyping – problems in each and every military base are different. For some that are placed in a dessert, their problem could be related to heat and sand. While bases near the sea or forest can have a problem related to humidity, water, and changing weather. These could be solved by the officers prototyping their own equipment that would complement their area.
Reverse engineering – with the help of 3D scanning, the military can reverse engineer any object they want. It could help them know what type of equipment other country’s military has. This would make their job easier. It could also help in a way that when a piece of new equipment they are using suddenly broke, they7 can fix it by reverse engineering it and knowing ever y part of it; thus replicating the original part and fixing the equipment.
Types of 3D Printed Military Equipment
Limitations of 3D Technology for the Military
3D scanning and 3D printing in the military does not automatically make every job and task of the military easier. Though it eases many things, it cannot solve every problem they have. For some instance, 3D printing cannot recreate every equipment part as it can be complicated for the machine. Moreover, there is still the intellectual property of the designers involved in the machines and equipment so not every product they can just scan and print.
Contact us now for 3D scanning services! You may also contact us here for 3D printing inquiries!