Customer Story – U.S. Army Utilising Markforged to decrease downtime
A major training base for the U.S. Army provides realistic joint and combined arms training to develop the U.S. Army’s soldiers and leaders for the battlefield. They train soldiers for upcoming deployments, wherever that may be in the world.
The military-grade vehicles and equipment that are critical for mission support endure a tremendous amount of wear and tear. If a part breaks, soldiers have fewer resources to use at the training center, as lead times for replacement parts are as long as three months due to the facility’s remote location. The process is long and inefficient as well as costly, and a single part breaking can have severe ramifications on a squadron.
There are currently 10 centers in the U.S. that focus on specific areas to train soldiers and servicemembers. In late 2019, after researching various types of 3D printers, one training base brought in two Markforged X3 industrial 3D printers and one Mark Two desktop 3D printer. The regiment needed durability, functionality, and versatility — and Markforged machines’ Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR) printing process gives them the ability to print with continuous carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar®. The U.S. Army’s Markforged composite printers have been used for personal protective equipment (PPE), window wiper brackets for military vehicles, tools, and low-volume production parts.
The U.S. Army training center in this case study has been utilising Markforged printers since early 2020, with plans to bring in more additive manufacturing capabilities. Markforged University also plays a big role in the U.S. Army’s readiness by training soldiers how to properly use the Markforged platform. Getting several soldiers certification on Markforged software and printers is a significant value add for the U.S., as without a proper understanding of how to best use Markforged technology, the team may not be as effective at designing parts for additive manufacturing.
To find out more about Markforged technology, please book a discovery call with our Markforged specialists, Kevin Askew or Ian Smith.