According to a post on KyivPost, a robotics lab has been 3D printing drones. For the war in Ukraine.
This is happening at the Step IT Academy in Kiev, Ukraine, where the lab is using plastic-based 3D printers to produce drone parts for the Ukrainian armed forces.
The drones are not particularly fearsome, as they are used for reconnaissance imaging and can only stay aloft for 20 minutes.
Nevertheless, information is highly valuable in military situations and the 30 drones produced thus far are “actively used at the war front now.”
Production of the drone parts is inexpensive compared to the cost of all the other elements required, especially the training of soldiers. They say the cost of each drone approaches USD$1,200, with another USD$3,000 for on-the-ground associated gear.
There’s currently a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between the Ukraine and its much larger neighbor, Russia, but things could change and the drones could be called upon again.
While this is perhaps not the first use of 3D printing technology for wartime equipment, it may be the first time inexpensive personal 3D printers have been rushed into action to produce war equipment. Welcome to the 21st century!