Exploring New Frontiers: Army Reserve Experiments with 3D Printed Explosive Containers


In October, Army Reserve Soldiers from the 102nd Training Division participated in a groundbreaking trial at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Their objective: to test 3D printed containers designed to enhance explosive effects. This initiative, launched at Fort Campbell’s EagleWerx Applied Tactical Innovation Center, aimed to optimize the use of existing explosives via superior containment designs. The Counter Explosive Hazards Center (CEHC) led the task, marking the maiden cooperation of its kind with the 102nd.

The tests involved comparing the effects of nearly 20 distinct 3D printed containers. The impact of each explosion was meticulously measured to pinpoint the most effective designs. The advantages of this technology extend beyond improved explosive effects; it also promises cost efficiency, heightened safety, and greater modularity for the Army.

Justin Fanatia, a training specialist at CEHC, highlighted the strategic importance of this technology. It allows for adaptable and scalable explosive charges, which are critical for rapidly evolving military operations. This flexibility not only boosts effectiveness but also enhances soldier safety.

The training program integrates advanced explosive techniques, encouraging soldiers to think creatively and apply their knowledge in various contexts. This approach aligns with the U.S. Army’s broader goal of fostering innovation and adaptability among its forces. With most major installations equipped with innovation or 3D printing labs, the knowledge gained from this training can be directly applied in various operational settings.

Future plans involve further testing to validate and refine these techniques, ensuring their applicability in diverse combat scenarios. The ultimate aim is to establish a baseline of effective charges for use in any future battlefield. As the technology matures, we can expect a new era of customizable, efficient, and safer explosive solutions on the battlefield. This innovation not only enhances combat effectiveness but also significantly contributes to soldier safety and operational versatility.

Source: usar.army.mil

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