The US Army is broadening its initiative on 3D-printing components for military equipment.
Initially focusing on mass-producing a battery bracket using a 3D printer for the HMMWV M998, the Army is now exploring the potential of producing additional components using this innovative technology, as reported by Sarbaz.kz citing Defencenews.
Eric Vetzel, the project lead at the US Army Research Laboratory, discussed the laboratory's plans during the 15th Annual Symposium on Engineering and Technology Systems held in Novi, Michigan. The scope of 3D printing application envisions crafting components for future HMMWVs through additive manufacturing, making them readily available for accelerated production post successful range and quality validation during trials.
This interest in additive manufacturing aligns with the growing trend among military services to utilise 3D printing to optimize logistics and minimize equipment downtime. In a recent example, the Navy employed 3D printing for a critical component, resulting in significant cost savings and avoiding the need for port repairs.
The 3D-printed battery bracket for the M998 HMMWV underwent a production process using fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology followed by an annealing procedure to enhance strength.
The 3D-printed battery bracket for the M998 HMMWV is designed to replace the conventional aluminum bracket, aligning with the Army's efforts to gradually phase out outdated components.