Marines Create Innovative Vehicle Maintenance Tool Using Additive Manufacturing

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Source: U.S. Marines
Source: U.S. Marines

June 30, 2021 | Originally published by U.S. Marines on June 16, 2021

Marine Corps System Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell collaborated with 1st Supply Battalion and industry partners to develop a 3-D-printed metal steering wheel removal device. This innovative solution helps solve a common problem among vehicle maintenance Marines.

“We’re always talking about how Marines move toward the sound of gunfire,” said Capt. Matthew Audette, AMOC Project Officer at MCSC. “If we open up that aperture a little bit, we can say Marines move toward the sound of problems, and they solve those problems. Additive manufacturing lowers the barrier to entry for physically making that solution.”

Marines need to remove the steering wheel columns for the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and Logistics Vehicle System Replacement when conducting vehicle maintenance. The removal tool that comes with their maintenance kit, a 10-way slide hammer, requires users to exert a great deal of pressure on the steering wheel column. This often leads to the steering wheel being broken or damaged.

“There are tools that already remove the steering wheel,” said Audette. “But they have a high percentage of breaking the steering wheel in the process.”

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