3D Systems’ Digital Thread Enhances U.S. Marine Corps Combat and Logistic Units’ Toolkit
Staff posted on August 25, 2014 |
3D Systems' scan, design, print and inspection tools are making it easier to recreate vital mec...

3D printing, scan, Print, marines, inspection3D Systems has announced  its role in the US Marine Corps Expeditionary Logistics Wargame VIII (ExLog). This annual event enables top Marine Corps planners to incorporate new technologies to enhance the Corps’ logistics and supply chain response capabilities.

During the event, Marine Corps engineers plan to explore 3DS’ advanced 3D scanning and printing tools to rapidly replace damaged parts in the field. As part of the exercise, Marines will repair two key parts of a tactical multipurpose robot, designed to clear a “hot” landing zone of obstacles preventing the insertion of a helicopter. Engineers will utilize Geomagic®CaptureTM, a powerful, portable 3D scanner, coupled with Geomagic DesignTM Direct, to create exact CAD models of the damaged robot’s components in minutes. Replacement parts will then be immediately printed using 3DS’ Selective Laser Sintering and Direct Metal Printing Fab-Grade printers. Once parts are printed, the quality and accuracy of the parts will be checked using Geomagic ControlTM for accurate comparison of the physical part to the original data.

Whereas battle damage would once require military hardware to be decommissioned and removed from battle for extended and costly servicing, this exercise will demonstrate how 3D printing enables engineers to complete the necessary scanning, printing and inspection locally on site, and productively through a seamless digital thread.

“We are thrilled to work with the U.S. Department of Defense to modernize tactics across multiple domains (land, air, sea, cyber, and space) and demonstrate to the Marine Corps the latest tools to deliver rapid response solutions in critical applications,” said Neal Orringer, Vice President of Alliances and Partnerships at 3DS. “We are pleased to be a partner in this effort to improve tactical responses and help save warfighters’ lives.”

With this demonstration, 3DS continues its strong record of advancing core Department of Defense technology, from direct manufacturing components for the Joint Strike Fighter and T-Hawk unmanned micro air-vehicle to an array of rapid prototyping and medical device applications. 3DS’ technology also supports units as varied as Naval Undersea Warfare Center – Keyport, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

As the ExLog Wargame illustrates, 3D printing is set to play a strategic role in directly supporting warfighter needs, on and off the battlefield. Recently, Vice Admiral Philip H Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for Fleet Readiness and Logistics with the U.S. Navy, illustrated the growing importance of advanced manufacturing in the armed forces.

“It’s my strong belief that 3D printing and advanced manufacturing are breakthrough technologies for our maintenance and logistics functions of the future,” said Vice Admiral Cullom in a video launching the Print the Fleet initiative, a series of workshops supported by the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell. “We can gain new capabilities to make rapid repairs, print tools and parts where and when they are needed, carry fewer spares and, ultimately, transform our maritime maintenance and logistics supply chain.”

Source: 3D Systems

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