The 3D-printed stainless steel solution was created by NSWC Corona earlier this year. The product was evaluated by PM Ammo representatives in Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. Launching the rocket motor to detonate the mine-clearing line charge was part of the evaluation.
"The rocket motor fired off just as intended and the line charge detonated as it is supposed to, which was a significant moment for us," said Justin Trejo, Project officer with PM Ammo at Marine Corps Systems Command.
The successful event demonstrated the efficacy of 3D printing, which is a subject of interest for the Department of Defense. Over the years, skilled Marines and civilians have employed additive manufacturing to develop everything from unique maintenance tools to a reinforced concrete bridge.
According to Caleb Hughes, an engineer from MCSC's PM Ammo who participated in the Yuma testing event, 3D printing has the potential to save the Marine Corps time and money. Justin Trejo considers that additive manufacturing corresponds with the vision of Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger in that 3D printing improves Marine's battlefield efficiency.
He added that the manufacturing strategy allows the warfighter to be lighter and faster, both of which are critical attributes need to support a variety of operations.
"We're able to create equipment parts and other assets for whatever particular mission we're engaged in," he added.