Ukraine has received from the United States industrial-grade 3D printers capable of printing spare parts for equipment on the battlefield, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition William LaPlante has said.
“Then we just finally last month we got them these industrial-size 3D printers into country. And this last week, we trained them on it… I mean, we’re talking like a truck size that the Ukrainians have finished training on. It’s going right in theater and they’re printing all their repair parts,” the official said speaking at the Center for a New American Security, Voice of America has reported.
According to him, the appearance of these printers speeds up the process of repairing military equipment and opens up new opportunities.
One can do amazing things with 3D printing, not just because of the speed. One can actually make parts that you couldn’t make normally, LaPlante said.
He also said that after the Russian invasion began, Ukrainians were initially 3D printing their own parts. LaPlante hinted that Ukraine did not have the appropriate permissions to do this, but allied countries helped in this situation.
“Ukrainians were initially 3D printing their own parts before they even had the tech data packages. And as [Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment] Chris Lowman says, ‘When your country is under existential attack, intellectual property laws are just mildly interesting,'” the official said.
“So, but we’ve cleaned that up, we’ve gotten them – with other countries – gotten them all the tech data packages,” LaPlante said.