In an effort to provide soldiers serving in Afghanistan, US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) has developed portable and mobile labs that are made inside standard 20-foot shipping containers. These labs, each costing about $2.8 million, could help engineers manufacture parts and equipment on-site without having to wait for the imports.
The high-tech labs feature 3D printers, a CNC machine and a number of other tools along with satellite equipment for video conferencing. These labs will allow REF to make sure that the soldiers are better equipped with products that can actually be used in the terrain. Till now the process took couple of months, as scientists and engineers had to fly from the US to talk to the soldiers, asses their requirements and head back to the US for manufacturing the prototypes, which were then shipped to Afghanistan.
These new labs will make sure that soldiers get their requirements in the minimum amount of time, by cutting down the prototype production process from months to a just a few hours. The first of these labs is already operational and another is set to be deployed later this year.
Via: The Verge