DON’T CLICK OUT YET, I know this type of article is a bit clichéd and usually points out the dangers of 3D printing (i.e. the power to create anything). But, this is not the case here, at all.
3D Printing can create anything. Thus it is no surprise that the military (especially the United States’ one) already utilizes it, and has already made several breakthroughs. Here is a compiled list of all the uses that the military has found, up to date, for 3D Printing (plus some other possibilities for it in the end).
Okay, we cannot print a War Machine or Iron Man suit, yet, or an exoskeleton, but there are also interesting and noteworthy uses.
I am pretty sure that while researching this I got into an NSA watch list.
1. Guns & Gun Parts
Of course every article about the military uses of 3D printing should start with 3D Printable weaponry. Plus, we have gone a long way since that one 3D Printable gun that has been floating around the web. Now, we can print full-fledged and working AR-15 rifles (or, at least, modifications of it, including parts of the main body and firing mechanism), and a 1911 semi-automatic pistol.
It is fascinating how designers and engineers managed to handle the pressures and temperatures that occur during the firing of a bullet with materials similar to Lego bricks.