- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2017

The U.S. Army is working to give deployed troops the capability to produce 3-D printed drones in a hurry.

Members of the Army Research Laboratory went to Fort Benning, Georgia, last month to highlight progress on a team’s 3-D printed On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System (ODSUAS). Officials at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments for Training and Doctrine Command were shown the viability of making a mission-worthy drone in less than 24 hours for reconnaissance needs.

“Drones or quadcopters are really getting big right now,” Project Engineer Jim Gerdes said in a Dec. 30 statement, Army Times reported Wednesday. “I mean, in particular just the commercial and hobby markets have shown what can be done with a small amount of money.”

One of the few inconveniences left for soldiers is the need to carry propellers and small motors that cannot be printed.

Project Manager Eric Spero said he is “very optimistic” that creating mission-custom drones that produce little noise, travel long distances and carry heavy payloads is possible.

“I think the hardest [goal] that’s going to be achievable is the heavy payload,” he added, Army Times reported.

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