3D Printers and the Pentagon

The website 3Dprinter.net mentions some news on 3D printing: Stratys (who builds the Dimension printer) has a high-end printer for under k And there is yet another Kickstarter project this time with printers around . Finally, the Pentagon seems have jumped on too:
From 3d Printer.net:
Well, what do you know! The military has finally embarked on a project
that may actually reduce their costs. The Pentagon just announced that
they are offering up to  million for a new 3D printing institute,
with the ultimate goal of cheaper and faster manufacturing of defense
and aerospace parts.

The new Additive Manufacturing Innovation institute has chosen 3D printing
(additive manufacturing) as the first of up to 16 centers in the United
States that will be dedicated to U.S. manufacturing innovation. This is
part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that President
Obama announced on March 9, 2012.

The Pentagon is soliciting universities and nonprofit organizations to
launch the pilot program, as described in this document. And they are
moving fast; A "proposer's day" will be held on May 16, and proposals
are due on June 14. .8 million of the  million is expected to be
spent in 2012. That's fast by any measure, especially for the government.


Overall, the military wants to utilize 3D printing for the same reasons
that businesses do: to save money while producing products after - in this
case, weapon and related technology. And, in addition to the monetary
benefits, there is the ability to allow personnel on the battlefield
and forward bases to be able to print out parts and eventually complete,
ready-to-use items without having to wait for delivery.