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US Army and Marines Developing On-Demand 3D Printed Drones

CNET reports on US Army and Marines development concerning on-demand 3D printed drones.  The military has even produced a documentary along with this announcement.

Back in December, “the US Army shared a look at a custom-printed, on-demand aerial drone program, allowing Army and Marine forces to create flying machines built for specific missions.”

The Army has described this sort of 3D printed drone as a “3D printed aviation asset.  Army researchers have already tested prototype 3D printed drones and are looking to further develop and expand the program.  The experimental drones are modular and can be assembled quickly…the Army envisions an almost Amazon-like catalog interface where you choose your drone from a selection of options.  Eventually, soldiers would be able to customize individual parts of the drone to fit the mission.”

Within the documentary (released by the US Army Research Laboratory), Engineer Jolie Frketic explains certain obstacles in this program’s future: “as a researcher, I’d like to improve the speed of the print or the strength of the part itself.”

Despite these needed improvements (which will inevitably be incorporated into the process), this modular 3D printed drone program for the United States military will be a boon to “warfighters” interested in minimizing risks in battlefield and other mission-based situations.

Image, Video, and Quotes Courtesy of CNET and the US Army Research Laboratory

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