The machine used by the military can print industrial-strength plastic (Picture: British Army).
British Army engineers in South Sudan are the first to have used a type of 3D printing technology in order to get around delays in the shipment of goods.
Royal Engineers had been waiting weeks for certain components to reach them in the war-torn African nation where they are building a hospital for the United Nations.
The regiment can now print industrial strength plastic on demand up to the size of a football.
Where once the lack of a simple bracket could hold up essential building work for weeks, now a design is modelled digitally and the printer constructs it by building up layers of plastic - often in less than 12 hours.
One soldier said: "The technology behind 3D printing has dramatically improved and has yet to be fully explored.
"There is great potential for the British Army to use this technology.”