There has been an increase in the use of 3D printing in military operations. With 3D printing, you can rapidly print spare parts and emergency supplies that are needed, especially for U.S. Marines. A recent mountain-base training was the perfect situation to use the technology by 3D printing custom parts for snowshoes, to help improve stability. Upgrades were needed for the equipment and 3D printing helped them to be made as quickly as possible. The turnaround time of this solution helped improve the troops’ performance. This also helped cause more confidence in future operations and 3D printing applications.
The 3D parts were put into place by the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center located in California. The MWTC is one of the facilities that are used to train Marines in mountain and cold weather operations. During the winter snow can reach six to eight feet high and temperatures of 20 degrees below zero. With a 3D printed snowshoe clip, a Marine can quickly replace a clip if it breaks while they are running forward. The Additive Manufacturing team at the command worked to develop the 3D printed clip replacement for the snowshoes. It only took three days to complete them, from design phase to delivery. 3D printed has applications for many types of shoes, which is what 3DShoes.com is all about.