Marine Corps Envisions Smart Trucks that Repair Themselves with 3D-Printed Parts on Battlefield

Published by , July 11, 2017 12:30 pm

(BusinessInsider)  Lt. Gen. Michael Dana, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for Installations and Logistics (I&L) reports that in the not-too-distant future, Marine Corps 7-ton trucks may be able to diagnose worn-out parts before they go bad, put in an order for a relevant replacement and get the part 3D printed and shipped to their location to be installed — all without a human in the loop.
The goal of having trucks that can do everything but self-install repair parts is in keeping with the Marine Corps’ newfound love affair with innovative technology. The Corps recently became the first military service to send 3D printers to combat zones with conventional troops, so that maintainers could print everything from 81mm mortar parts to pieces of radios in hours, instead of waiting days or longer for factory-made parts to arrive.