It's no secret that 3D printing is making big strides for the future of not just technology, but medicine and space exploration as well. And the United States Army is looking to leverage the platform for its warhead production. 3D printing is nothing new to this particular branch of the military, as it has been working on bioprinted replacement skin for battle wounds -- amongst other projects. The Army is looking to implement the tech to produce components for the weapons that will both reduce cost and increase customization. "The real value you get is you can get more safety, lethality or operational capability from the same space," said materials engineer James Zunino. Part of the allure here is that warheads could also be built to suit each mission, rather being mass-produced to outfit a range of duties. But the Army isn't stopping with pieces: the possibility of printing an entire rocket isn't too far fetched given how quickly 3D printing continues to develop. As with any military-grade weapon, the risk of the production files falling into the wrong hands is certainly a concern.
[Photo credit: Aamir QureshiI/AFP/Getty Images]