☷DEVCOM Army Special Forces collaborate with international partner to test additive manufacturing technology
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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Defend3D’s Virtual Inventory Communication Interface ensures end - to - end encryption by enabling organizations to store their designs locally and use the virtual inventory to manufacture pars in remote locations The Army has made additive manufacturing a priority , and a team that consists of U . S . Army Special Forces , DEVCOM and an international industry partner supported the effort with Project Prime . Project Prime enables secure transmission of remote 3D printing . On a battlefield in the future , Soldiers deployed to remote areas around the world will use sophisticated additive manufacturing printers to ‘print’ virtually everything they need , from food to shelter to weapons . The Army has made additive manufacturing a priority and DEVCOM is supporting the effort with Project Prime , a collaboration with U . S . Army Special Forces and an international industry partner . The Project Prime team consists of the U . S . Army 7th Special Forces Group ( Airborne ) ; U . S . Army Combat Capabilities Development Command International Technology Center – United Kingdom; DEVCOM Command , Control , Communications , Computers , Combat systems , Intelligence , Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center; and Defend3D , a company based in the United Kingdom that enables secure transmission of remote 3D printing . Soldiers from 7th SFG ( A ) tested the technology by repeatedly adding and printing additive manufacturing files using Defend3D’s Virtual Inventory Communication Interface . VICI ensures end - to - end encryption by enabling organizations to store their designs locally and use the virtual inventory to manufacture parts in remote locations . Soldiers from 7th SFG ( A ) were a key part of Project Prime , which leveraged Defend3D’s Virtual Inventory Communication Interface . VICI enables storing , sharing , retrieving and streaming files securely . Soldiers from the 7th SFG ( A ) tested the technology by repeatedly adding and printing additive manufacturing files using Defend3D’s Virtual Inventory Communication Interface . VICI provides a server application that manages the virtual inventory , assigns rights to remote manufacturers and provides the product in a ‘one - click - print’ format with minimal training for the end - user to securely stream . “Despite a network connection categorized commercially as having low to no connection , VICI facilitated speedy , secure and accurate printing . Based on expectations set at the beginning of the project , VICI did everything we needed it to do , and 7th SFG ( A ) was satisfied with the system performance and endorsed the capability for further development and implementation , ” said Dr . Patrick Fowler , DEVCOM Global Technology advisor at ITC - UK . Each DEVCOM ITC has a Global Technology advisor who scouts technology in their area of operation . Project Prime began when a DEVCOM Global Technology advisor was scouting additive manufacturing technology in the Atlantic region , which includes London , United Kingdom; Paris , France; Frankfurt , Germany; and Tel Aviv , Israel . The ITCs , which are part of DEVCOM’s Global Enterprise , serve as the forward - deployed ‘eyes and ears’ of the Army Science and Technology Enterprise . Other DEVCOM ITCs include: North America; South America; Northern Europe; Southern Europe; Northeast Asia; Southeast Asia: and Southern Hemisphere . VICI ensures end - to - end encryption by enabling organizations to store their designs locally and use the virtual inventory to manufacture parts in remote locations . For example , a deployed Soldier communicates a need , such as a spare part or a modification to an existing part , to the Computer - Aided Design element at 7th SFG ( A ) . The CAD element either designs the part from scratch or selects from a database of commonly used parts . This is then streamed to the Soldier in the field , who prints the part . Because the file is never sent , VICI prevents adversaries from accessing the information and identifying vulnerabilities in equipment and capabilities . “We made it a priority to pursue avenues that will allow us to operate in environments that are not conducive to regular resupply efforts . For detachments to stay in the fight in these environments , we explored systems that operate outside the conventional supply chains . Project Prime’s deployable 3D printer and VICI software enables secure transmission and an easy - to - use interface , ” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesse Peters , Innovation Cell , 7th SFG ( A ) . Other benefits of the technology include: · The 3D printer operator does not need to be an expert in 3D printing to print the required files . · The interface prevents overloading the network since forward - deployed Soldiers only see objects they have requested for their mission . · It securely stores files in a sharable repository , including files created by the Department of Defense and coalition networks . “Imagine this scenario – a clever Green Beret on a remote base develops a novel attachment for an existing Unmanned Aircraft System , which is stored in VICI . Then , a clever Airman across the world at a remote airfield sees it and adds his/her twist . Next , a British Soldier prints it and starts using it in his/her own operations , ” Fowler said . During the training event , feedback was gathered in real - time as the deployed Soldiers communicated with the 7th SFG ( A ) Innovation Cell . Other information was collected after the training , including the pros and cons of the system , software interface , training requirements and long - term durability . 7th SFG ( A ) plans to train more of their Soldiers on the technology to support a U . S . Army Southern Command deployment . Once the deployment is completed , ITC - UK will document all of the activities and achievements of Project Prime and make it available to the broader Department of Defense community . The information will benefit other DEVCOM centers and research laboratory , particularly the C5ISR Center , which focuses on securing communications to the tactical edge . The technology may also fill gaps with other Army units . “We’re looking for funding to further develop VICI to make it operable on a cell phone or a small device , including a Raspberry Pi , which is a very small computer that plugs into a computer monitor , TV , or similar small end - user devices . This will make the solution , which is currently used on a laptop , even more deployable , ” Fowler said . - - The U . S . Army Combat Capabilities Development Command , known as DEVCOM , is home to thousands of Army scientists , engineers , technicians and analysts working around the globe to leverage cutting - edge technologies and empower the American warfighter with the data and abilities to see , sense , make decisions and act faster than our adversaries – today and in the future . As part of the Army Futures Command , DEVCOM takes calculated risks to find new technological solutions each day . Our experts drive innovation , improve existing technologies and engineer solutions to technical challenges . Our work goes beyond theory to simulation and prototyping . We take potential science and technology solutions from the lab “into the dirt” for experimentation alongside Army Soldiers . DEVCOM prides itself as a global ecosystem of innovators , from world - class universities and large defense contractors , to small , minority - owned businesses and international allies and partners .
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