On Demand Manufacturing of Reclaimed and Indigenous Materials
United States Army warfighters in theater are often faced with the challenge of broken, damaged, or missing parts necessary to maintain the safety and productivity required. One solution is to give warfighters the capability to manufacture the parts required on site. Reclaimed materials such as metal scrap and waste plastics can be utilized to improve the self-reliance of warfighters on forward operating bases by cutting costs and decreasing the demand for the frequent resupplying of parts by the supply chain. Experimentation is conducted to turn waste plastics into filament that can then be used for additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing, which allows for the capability of designing and building a diverse range of plastic parts. These could either be utilized as-produced or be used, along with existing and functional parts, to create molds for casting. Scrap metal can be melted and poured into metal or greensand molds using basic foundry techniques to create an exact replica of a part or to create a uniform metal block that can be machined with a small, portable subtractive manufacturing device like a CNC mill. Samples made using all of the explained methods will be tested for strength and feasibility.
Authors: Nicole Zander, Marc Pepi, Margaret Gillan, Bill Gleason, Jack Skinner, and Emily Kooistra-Manning
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017