High Speed Metal 3D Printing for Improved Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 141015

Problem: Rapidly responding to urgent customer requests for low-volume production needs in a competitive and cost-effective manner is a critical gap for industry.  While this capability gap impacts many businesses within private industry and all of the armed services, it is most pronounced within the U.S. Marine Corps, the smallest of the armed services.  As the U.S. continues to project its force in a forward deployed posture, the sustainment of mission critical components and systems is paramount.

Benefit: This project can be used as a blueprint for private industry supply chains to integrate rapid 3D printing as an alternative source of supply and manufacturing, ultimately reducing overall supply chain costs, reducing customer wait time, and passing savings on to the consumer.

Solution/Approach: In order to successfully provide rapid sustainment solutions, industry and government must adapt to technological advancements and leverage both current and emerging technologies.  Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, allows for rapid sustainment and decreased maintenance cycle times by providing repair parts quickly, locally (at or near the point of need), and in many cases cheaper than OEM.  The overall objective of this initiative is to assess the capability of specific commercial offtheshelf (COTS) metal 3D printing technology to support maintenance and sustainment requirements with reliable, repeatable and timely repair parts. 

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Shorten supply chain lead times with increased requisition fulfillment
  • Reduce logistical requirements and costs
  • Improve warfighter readiness

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Marine Corps

Industry Participation:

  • Parmatech Corporation
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Additive/advanced manufacturing