Research Summaries

Back Marine Makers Model Exchange (MX) for Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Fiscal Year 2018
Division Graduate School of Operational & Information Sciences
Department Information Sciences
Investigator(s) Brutzman, Donald P.
Sponsor Marine Corps Installations Command (Marine Corps)
Summary Prior USMC work demonstrated an initial prototype Marine Maker site for additive manufacturing innovation. Prior NPS Naval Research Program (NRP) efforts explored technical design criteria and demonstrated implementation requirements for a customizable open-source 3D Model Exchange server for shared Navy use. These successful efforts can now be integrated to establish a customized Marine Makers Model Exchange (MX) for Additive Manufacturing (AM), supporting early-adopter Marines at Fabrication Labs and deployed locations worldwide. Initial lessons learned in this capabilities demonstration are expected to eventually accelerate full-scale future Navy USMC deployment.
Continuing NRP work has implemented a technical roadmap to address many Naval needs for Additive Manufacturing (AM). NPS has created an X3D Model Exchange ( for secure upload, sharing and printing of 3D models. The server adapts a National Institutes of Health (NIH) 3D Model Exchange (3DMX) tool suite for Navy/USMC use, and remains fully open source using open standards to ensure repeatability. Version control provides full history details and enables comprehensive testing for cybersecurity data protections. This project is a part of a larger Naval Additive Manufacturing (AM) roll out, intended to help define requirements for model sharing, user interfaces, and cyber protection of both systems and 3D data. Partner commands include NAVFAC, EXWC and SPAWAR, with observation encouraged by other DoD commands and industry. Emerging work includes documentation of best practices for user-facing systems and comprehensive search using accepted metadata vocabularies. Experimentation with new technologies (such as blockchain distributed ledgers) is also possible. We are building a Web-based archive for community sharing of model designs, large 3D scans, photographs, commentary, “how-to” best practices, inquiry, lessons learned, etc. Technical interoperability is achieved by using Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics International Standard for 3D printing scanning and visualization interchange among diverse commercial formats. All submissions are retained in original form – together with necessary descriptions and metadata – suitable to meet government requirements for licensing and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Opening up new technology capabilities to communities of collaborating Navy/USMC expeditionary personnel, in combination with open-standards data interchange and a Web-based approach, provides many opportunities to explore emerging digital techniques associated with additive manufacturing. A shared customizable codebase encourages industry-friendly competition and avoids “lockin” dominance of any single vendor across the broad long-term needs of Naval use.
Keywords 3D Printing Additive manufacturing X3D Graphics International Standard operational logistics
Publications Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal
Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal