A Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) unit has approved a 3D-printed tool built to help maintainers detach steering wheel columns from military vehicles without breaking or damaging the automotive control hardware.
The Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell (AMOC) created the metal steering wheel removal device with two partners from the private sector and added the tool design to an online repository of additive manufacturing models, the command said Wednesday.
MCSC intends for the new maintenance tool to cut the number of days it takes for service personnel to change parts in a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement or a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement platform. The metal printer system being used by Marines works to produce 36 removal devices each day.
"As we put additive manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing capabilities into the maintenance battalions, we can go through and design one-off parts based on a hyper-specific need that we only need one or two of," said Capt. Matthew Audette, MCSC's AMOC project officer.
The Marine Corps established AMOC in 2019 to provide round-the-clock 3D printing assistance to program offices and oversee the approval process for ground equipment replacement parts developed by servicemen.