Picatinny Arsenal has revealed a litany of potential electronic applications for additive material and 3D printing. Most of the projects listed would have a direct impact in the military field, and anything cutting down the weight and price of battle equipment would be welcome throughout the ranks.
With specific additive developments, Picatinny is looking to provide radio frequency to helmets, clothing and even weaponry for signals and communication. Of course, electronic equipment is not limited to ground forces, and Picatinny Arsenal foresees 3D printing in Unmanned Arial Vehicles or UAV’s.
Picatinny’s research delves into the process and applications for electronic 3D printing. With a heating source, materials like gypsum, metal powders, plastic filaments and others can be melded and added layer by layer as those familiar with 3D printing are aware.
The printers can produce ink that can conduct electric current (like silver) and print onto film surfaces creating conductors, semi-conductors and resisters. With similar methods, research suggests the company will be able to print electronics such as munitions antennas, fuse elements and batteries.
Other potential applications include UAV wing production and Picatinny envisions every soldier equipped with a 3D scanner sending data of what they need to the closest printer, to produce it effectively and efficiently.