Recently, the U.S. military is conducting in-depth research on 3D printing technology. At present, it will one day provide soldiers with completely customized 3D printed body armor (also known as human protective armor).
3D printed body armor technology is one of the main research topics of the U.S. military
According to US media reports, technicians are looking for inspiration from abalone shells to allow frontline troops to print human protective armor by themselves, thus eliminating the tedious supply process.
Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) are developing methods for 3D printing ceramic materials. Ceramics are more difficult to 3D print than plastic or metal, but they are also a key component of body armor that protects soldiers from bullets and shrapnel on the battlefield.
ARL researchers are studying the layered nature of abalone shells-over time, this mollusk, which was originally a single shell, would wrap itself layer by layer-which gave researchers a lot of Inspiration. If the process of abalone growth is engraved with a 3D printer, a body-protective body armor can be produced in a very short time.
There are still many technical problems to be solved for 3D printing of high-density ceramics, but this is a technology that must be implemented if rapid production of body armor in battlefields is required.
Increasing the density of ceramic materials is to crush the projectiles that are shot, which will increase the weight of the ceramic plate and the entire body armor. Only by this means can the protective ability of the body armor be enhanced.
Although the U.S. military's active-duty body armor is reliable, it faces problems such as tedious and complicated supply, and it is difficult to personalize it.
The ability to 3D print body armor will be a major advance for the US military. With this capability, the US logistics department does not need to purchase hundreds of thousands of bulletproof jackets for male and female soldiers of various heights and sizes. Just measure the size of each soldier and print the appropriate bulletproof jacket with a printer. can.
As long as the technical bottleneck of 3D printing high-density ceramics is broken, the US military can produce a large number of personalized body armor in a short period of time. By that time, the Pentagon will no longer be trapped in the size of rare body armor.
People with strange stature will always face a shortage of body armor, and the embarrassing situation of being forced to wait for the supply chain to meet their needs will also become history. New personalized body armor can be made in hours. On battlefields thousands of miles away from U.S. supply stations, combat forces can even quickly make their own body armor.
Although up to now, 3D printing has not produced a body armor, the main problem here is not due to the 3D printing technology itself, but the US military researchers have not found the correct ceramic manufacturing process.
Once the process issues (mostly how to print high-density ceramics) are resolved, 3D printing personalized body armor will become an easy task.
3D printed body armor will be more fitted and greatly reduce logistics pressure.