Requests for backup might usually trigger a halt in a military operations, but two fast-moving technologies could one day combine to deliver much-needed reinforcements exactly where they're needed. Such is the vision of defense firm BAE Systems, which sees aircraft having advanced onboard 3D printers that are capable of producing UAVs for wide-ranging military purposes.
At the intersection of drones and 3D printing technologies, there have been some notable creations in recent times. Engineers from University of Southampton developed the world's first printed aircraft back in 2011, while more recently we've seen a minimalistic UAV that can be printed and laucnhed within 24 hours. As for airborne 3D printers, a foam-squirting quadcopter has highlighted the potential for robots to carry out important tasks in hard to reach or unsafe areas.