With many of the companies that are designing and manufacturing weapons for the military using more and more Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems in their workflow, it was only a matter of time until 3D printed components made their way into arms and weapons.
Of course all we know that NASA and the US military have used 3D printed components to successfully test advanced prototype airplanes, spacecraft and even ground vehicles... But there aren't many more mission- and life-critical systems than a submarined nuclear ballistic missile.
This week, for the first time, a 3D printed component was used in a test flight for the new, high-tech upgrade to the US Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile program. The component was designed and fabricated entirely using 3D design and 3D printing, a process that allowed Lockheed Martin engineers to produce the part in half the time it would take traditional methods.