The US Marine Corps (USMC) has contracted 3D Systems to support its personnel in incorporating new technologies to improve logistics and supply chain response capabilities, as part of the expeditionary logistics wargame VIII (ExLog).
The company will also help develop quick response teams using additive manufacturing (AM), which will rapidly replace damaged components in the field, even under critical circumstances.
3DS Alliances and Partnerships vice-president Neal Orringer said: "We are thrilled to work with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to modernise 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.
"We are pleased to be a partner in this effort to improve tactical responses and help save warfighters’ lives."
As part of the exercise, USMC planners will use 3D’s selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal printing technologies to repair two key parts of a tactical multipurpose robot, which is used to clear hot landing zones of potential obstacles before a helicopter sets down.
Using the company’s Geomagic capture 3D scanner, integrated with Geomagic design direct, marine engineers will create precise CAD models of the damaged robot’s parts. These will then be printed using SLS and direct metal printing fab-grade printers.
Furthermore, the Geomagic control tool will be used to check the quality and accuracy of the 3D printed components in comparison with the original dimensions.
3D Systems has been supporting the DoD with parts for the Joint Strike Fighter and T-Hawk unmanned micro air-vehicles, as well as rapid prototyping and medical device applications.
Image: 3D printing will enable engineers to complete scanning, printing and inspection of the developed component in the field. Photo: courtesy of 3D Systems, Inc.