12 Mar '18, 5pm

The US Marines' Love Affair with 3D Printing

The US Marines' Love Affair with 3D Printing

A Marine adjusts a 3D printer during training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. WASHINGTON: Why are the Marines in love with 3D printing ? Like most romances, it starts with the small things, things too small for the conventional supply system to manage, like a two-cent plastic button that preempts a $11,000 repair. Big defense contractors, take notice. “There’s an intercom in most helicopters ,” said Gen. Robert Neller , commandant of the Marine Corps. Ground-pounders like him tend to hit the buttons too hard and break them. But the Pentagon supply system doesn’t deal in replacing individual buttons. “You’ve got to buy the whole faceplate of the intercom,” Neller said. “It costs $11,000.” General Robert Neller Recently, Neller met a young corporal with a 3D printer: “Now they can print a button for two cents.” The only hitch? The parts weren’t approved for installation on ...

Full article: https://breakingdefense.com/2018/03/marines-love-affair-w...

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