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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Marines’ Love Affair With 3D Printing: Small Is Cheap, & Beautiful | Breaking Defense

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Why are the Marines in love with 3D printing? Like most romances, it starts with the small things, things too small for the conventional supply system to manage, like a two-cent plastic button that preempts a $11,000 repair. Big defense contractors, take notice.

“There’s an intercom in most helicopters,” said Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps. Ground-pounders like him tend to hit the buttons too hard and break them. But the Pentagon supply system doesn’t deal in replacing individual buttons. “You’ve got to buy the whole faceplate of the intercom,” Neller said. “It costs $11,000.”

Source: Marines’ Love Affair With 3D Printing: Small Is Cheap, & Beautiful | Breaking Defense

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