Marines in North Carolina are learning to assemble and use 3d printers so they can create replacement parts on-demand around the world.
Arms technicians, aerospace engineers and other teams focused on building their 3d printers, learning to use the technology and then finally, designing and printing specialized parts.
“The goal of this training is to take advantage of some of the benefits of additive manufacturing or 3D printing”, Justin Yates, one of the instructors told Marines.mil. “Jobs that are highly customized and need a specific tool, product or part that’s difficult to a find a commercial product for or it’s very cost prohibitive, I can sit and design it on the computer and print it out using the 3D printer.”
ThreeD materials has covered other ways the US military is experimenting with 3d printing to provide it's servicemen and women with tools in places where delivering those tools can be problematic, and this is yet another example.
“The end state here is to hopefully integrate the 3D printers into our new mobile machine shops”, said GySgt. Justin Horn, a maintenance chief with 2nd Maintenance Battalion. “So if the need arises to make a one off part, and there is a machinist in country, you’ll have the support. But I think the intent is to also have more widespread usage of the 3D printers.”