The US Army is taking 3D printing to the front lines with 20ft shipping containers fitted with 3D printers, CNC machines and other fabrication equipment so that they can repair and improvise new parts in the field, speeding up innovation. Each Expeditionary Lab costs a hefty $2.8 million with Exponent Inc. awarded a $9.7 million three year contract worth of expeditionary lab support.
Soldiers no longer have to wait to bring ideas back to scientists and engineers back in the states. The REF has brought the experts to the soldiers in combat.
These mobile labs represent the REF's future as its director, Col. Peter Newell, wanted to figure out a way to help the Army