3D Systems announced today 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.