Security in 3D: Engineering solutions to the U.S. military’s parts problems
from Mines Newsroom

When soldiers are out in the field — literally in life-or-death situations — the last thing they need to worry about is a door falling off their tactical vehicle if they’re hit by a roadside bomb.

Unfortunately, this situation is all-too-common for the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles the U.S. Army uses in the field. Due to the prevalence of improvised explosive devices, the vehicles were modified in 2007 with cab doors that added a 400-pound armor plate to the existing 800-pound design. But this extra weight exceeded what the door hinges could handle, and soldiers were suddenly forced to figure out how to reattach a 1,200-pound door to their vehicle, often in dangerous situations and risking further harm.

To further complicate matters, a failed hinge could cause a vehicle to be out of commission for a significant amount of time —possibly even years — before a replacement part can be procured, delivered and installed. But Mines’ Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies stepped in with a solution to the problem when the U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center requested help creating an effective replacement that would hold up in the field. Read more »