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US Marine Corps Uses 3D printer to Print Parts of Assault Amphibious Vehicle

July 02, 2020

We are in the digital industrial revolution, and 3D printing technology is changing the manufacturing industry. Compared with other 3D printing methods, the cost of 3D printer is lower, but the production capacity can be increased by 50%. Recently, the U.S. Marine Corps is using 3D printing technology to make different types of vehicle parts for 26 ton bulletproof AAV or assault amphibious vehicles.

AAV, also known as amtrac, is an advanced amphibious assault vehicle of the U.S. Marine Corps. Since 1972, it has safely transported more than 20 personnel and a warehouse through the water at a speed of 8 miles per hour. There are more than 1000 cars in the fleet, all of which will be phased out over the next 20 years.

US Marine Corps Uses 3D printer to Print Parts of Assault Amphibious Vehicle-01

AAV (assault amphibious vehicle)

Unfortunately, as AAV is about to retire, private manufacturers who have long made replacement parts for cars are now less willing to do so. This means that AAVS will be idle, and Marines may even go into action without them.

Because the Marine Corps is located in remote areas and the supply chain is not yet available, the ability to make parts on time when needed is critical. That's why AAV plans to move to hundreds of 3D printed replacement parts from parmatech, a California manufacturing company.

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An analysis conducted by the Marine Corps in April found that it would take 140 days, some even more than a year, to make a part for AAV under traditional manufacturing methods. For example, bolts and brackets, couplings and cranks, most of which used to be made by traditional methods, can be mass produced faster by using metal 3D printing. 3D printers can drop up to 630 million nanograms of liquid adhesive on a powder bed per second, and in the process, polymers bond metal particles together to make high-strength parts.

In addition, 3D printing allows soldiers to make components of multiple parts into a single part instead of welding them together.

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Because of the small size of the Marine Corps, this means that the parts it needs are not as large as those used by the U.S. Army. Just like replacing parts with AAV, industrial manufacturers are less willing to use their machines to make parts.

3D printers are not only economical in price, but also can be customized in small quantities. In short, 3D printers are a more cost-effective choice than existing technologies.

 Sources from: https://creality3dpro.store/blogs/news