• 3D Printing
  • What applications does 3D printing technology have in the military field?

1. Weapons and equipment development In the development and production of weapons and equipment, engineers can use 3D printing technology to carry out creative verification and mold making according to actual requirements. It can directly print some special and complicated structural parts, and can effectively realize the weight reduction of structural parts. . In addition, 3D printing digitization can shorten the design and development cycle of new weapons, greatly reduce defense spending, and will substantially improve the performance and production efficiency of weapons and equipment. 1.1. Aerospace equipment China's carrier-based aircraft -15 has been successfully developed in only 3 years, and 3D printing technology has been applied to key components, which greatly shortened the development cycle. Now 歼-20 and 歼-31 have adopted 3D printing technology in the development process. China Commercial Aircraft and Northwestern Polytechnical University jointly tackled the problem of using the 3D printing technology to manufacture the central flange of the C919 aircraft. AVIC Yifeiyuan and Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics have combined the full 3D digital design technology with the latest 3D printing technology, and have printed a number of aircraft components that meet the strength, stiffness and functional requirements. 1.2. Navy Equipment In order to produce drones that are light in weight, low in cost, and capable of meeting operational performance requirements, the US Navy intends to use 3D printing technology for R&D, design and production. The US Navy plans to build aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers into mobile 3D printing plants, enabling on-demand printing of related weapons and equipment, and improving the utilization of space onboard [6]. 1.3. Light Weapons Equipment Solid Concepts Inc. of the United States manufactured the world's first metal pistol using 3D printing technology. The 3D printed metal pistol consists of more than 30 parts. The 3D printing pistol has a longer range than conventional pistols. Poor but with comparable accuracy. The magazine and other components of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle have also been manufactured by 3D printing technology. The gun can shoot more than 600 times and has a good overall performance. At present, the problem that restricts 3D printing technology is material. If the problem of metal powder material can be solved, 3D printing technology will be widely used in the design, manufacture and maintenance of light weapons.

2, field repair using 3D printing technology can achieve rapid manufacturing of wartime equipment maintenance spare parts and maintenance tools and equipment, so that wartime maintenance support efficiency has been greatly improved. In a real exercise, the 40th Group Army’s engineering team bridged the bridge and encountered an accident in the newly-built emergency road drill. Because the stone was involved in the fan, the water tank was pierced, the emergency was closed, and the company was repaired. Bringing a 3D printer to the scene and making a three-dimensional model based on the data, the 3D printer quickly printed a square plug and then, after a little grinding, plugged the leaking water tank and put the excavator back into work. It is understood that this actual exercise, 3D printing has been used six times, greatly improving the efficiency of field repair.

3, camouflage protection equipment production now has a small probability of large-scale warfare, generally local warfare, the number of participants is not much, on the battlefield need to be hidden at any time, to protect themselves and better attack the enemy. For some protective camouflage equipment, the required features are as consistent as possible with the surrounding background. For ease of carrying and laying, the weight is as light as possible. 3D printing technology can quickly and accurately produce camouflage protection equipment according to specific combat environment and actual combat conditions, so that the target after camouflage can be better concealed, so that combat personnel can maximize their operational effectiveness.

. 4, logistics support The future war will be information warfare, the application of 3D printing technology will make a major change in the way of battlefield support. The current logistics support mainly depends on the rear supply, and will become the "DIY" (Do It Yourself) in the field. The so-called "DIY" means that soldiers can repair parts, materials and food in real time according to the needs of the battlefield. And medicines, etc.

5, medical parts and rescue equipment production In order to maximize the timely rescue of soldiers, on the battlefield can use 3D printing technology to make the corresponding organs or utensils according to the specific circumstances of the injured soldiers. For example, splints, brackets can be made for fractured soldiers, joints can be printed for soldiers with joint injuries, eye masks or special glasses for soldiers with eye injuries, artificial limbs for amputated soldiers, and special shoes for soldiers with foot injuries. As a new manufacturing technology, 3D printing technology has completely different processing concept from traditional machining. It can directly process any shape parts according to the designed 3D model without mold and machining, which greatly shortens the machining cycle. The complexity of the process is reduced, and the production efficiency is effectively improved. Due to actual needs and strong support from governments, 3D printing technology has been widely used in the military field. In the future, with the continuous improvement of 3D printing technology, it will create more value in military applications.