3D printing will revolutionise war and foreign policy, say experts, not only by making possible incredible new designs but by turning the defence industry -- and possibly the entire global economy -- on its head.
For many, 3D printing still looks like a gimmick, used for printing useless plastic figurines and not much else.
But with key patents running out this year, new printers that use metal, wood and fabric are set to become much more widely available -- putting the engineering world on the cusp of major historical change.
The billion-dollar defence industry is at the bleeding edge of this innovation, with the US military already investing heavily in efforts to print uniforms, synthetic skin to treat battlewounds, and even food, said Alex Chausovsky, an analyst at IHS Technology.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have already invented "4D printing" -- creating materials that change when they come into contact with elements such as water.
'Can't drill a curved hole' - "
3D printing -- invented in the 1980s -- is much older than many realise.
Read more here: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/H...revolutionise_war_and_foreign_policy_999.html