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Marine Corps utilizing mobile shelter to 3D print parts on the go

Posted at 10:54 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 13:54:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Inside a mobile machinist shop, the Marine Corps can now print polymer and metal parts on the go.

Operated by the 1st Marine Logistics Group, the Expeditionary Manufacturing Shelter is currently at Camp Pendleton.

It houses several 3D printers which each serve a specific purpose.

"Digital manufacturing can be extremely useful in a combat situation or a disaster zone because we can take this shelter and deploy it to anywhere it's needed. We're able to provide parts that are not readily available, and we're able to get our equipment operational faster," said Staff Sgt. Samuel Margarini.

Rather than ordering a part and waiting up to a week, the Marines can re-create a part within 24 hours, improving readiness and operational momentum.

3D printing new parts is also cheaper and saves resources.

"Since implementation we've had a huge impact on different platforms, we've made parts for trucks, humvees, tanks, and some drones," said Margarini.

While only being used in training, for now, shelters like this will eventually be deployed where needed by the Marine Corps.