NIWC Pacific And MatterHackers Sign Agreement To Promote 3D Printing For The Marine Corps
The Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific and MatterHackers, a 3D printing company based in Southern California, have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to advance the use of 3D printing for the marine corps. This CRADA aims to provide Navy and Marine Corps use cases for identifying, testing, and collecting data on effective, low-cost, expeditionary 3D printing.
MatterHackers evaluates challenging field environments by providing subject matter expertise via on-site and virtual training, technical support, and equipment, including a wide range of 3D printers using engineering-grade materials.
“The results of the CRADA will potentially aid in accelerating operationalization of commercial off-the-shelf 3D printing for government and military use, a task that has been well underway by the Marine Corps’ Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell (AMOC). AMOC’s goal is to further employ additive manufacturing throughout the Marine Corps, including certifying, storing and sharing files for approved 3D printed parts.”
– Maj. Matthew Audette, Advanced Manufacturing Systems Team Lead
Advancing 3D Printing for the Marine Corps
NIWC Pacific provides technological and engineering support to a number of major US Navy and Department of Defense commands. Under this CRADA, MatterHackers joins NIWC Pacific to specifically assess and identify Marine Corps use cases associated with ground vehicle equipment and other innovative Marine Corps-developed solutions. MatterHackers offers industry-leading expertise in direct part replication, material substitution, part consolidation, and general design practises that are uniquely suited to 3D printing parts.
“MatterHackers has been working closely with our neighbors at Camp Pendleton in Southern California for years, and we are so excited to be able to dig deeper into their 3D printing needs with this CRADA. We want to help push those capabilities further with the right machines, materials, and training.”
– Mara Hitner, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at MatterHackers
MatterHackers will collaborate with the Marine Corps to test 3D printed parts in a variety of use-case scenarios, with successful prototypes being delivered to respective Program Offices for further reliability and durability testing. MatterHackers will work with the aforementioned groups to design and prototype novel additive manufacturing equipment to meet the needs of the Marine Corps, including the ability to widely ingest readily available materials of interest, such as stainless-steel 3D printer filament that can be debinded and sintered off-site.
According to Maj. Kate DeLeal, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Director of Additive Manufacturing Policy, “CRADAs such as this facilitate the vital collaboration between defense and industry which is essential to equipping, maintaining, and sustaining our forces. MatterHackers, NIWC Pacific, and the Marine Corps AMOC demonstrate the very best of these partnerships, seeking to create operationally-informed testing environments focused on evaluating the role emerging and improving 3D printing technologies and materials can ultimately serve to improve warfighter agility and lethality.”
Kristin Holzworth, Ph.D., NIWC Pacific Principal Investigator said, “MatterHackers, NIWC Pacific and the Marine Corps will identify and address military-specific challenges experienced in tactical settings, and evaluate how open-source 3D printing materials, additive manufacturing equipment, and commercial-grade technical training can help resolve them quickly and effectively. The cooperative hopes that as a result of this CRADA, 3D printing capabilities will be better integrated throughout all echelons of the greater Naval enterprise to improve readiness of U.S. Marines and Sailors.”
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