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INTERIM POLICY ON THE USE OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING (3D PRINTING) IN THE MARINE CORPS

Date Signed: 9/16/2016
MARADMINS Number: 489/16

R 161443Z SEP 16
MARADMIN 489/16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC LP WASHINGTON DC//
SUBJ/INTERIM POLICY ON THE USE OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING (3D PRINTING) IN THE MARINE CORPS//
REF/A/ MSGID:DOC/ASTM/01MAR2012//
REF/B/ SECNAVINST 4410.23, JOINT REGULATION GOVERNING THE USE AND APPLICATION OF UNIFORM SOURCE MAINTENANCE AND RECOVERABILITY CODES//
AMPN/ REF A IS ISO/ASTM 52900:2015, STANDARD TERMINOLOGY FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES. REF B PRESCRIBES THE STANDARD POLICIES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF SOURCE, MAINTENANCE, AND RECOVERABILITY CODES WITHIN THE SERVICES.//
POC/NANCY SPRINGER/COL/UNIT: HQMC IL LPV/-/TEL: 571-256-7173/EMAIL: NANCY.SPRINGER(AT)USMC.MIL//
POC/CHRISTOPHER WOOD/CAPT/UNIT: HQMC IL LPV/-/TEL: 703-439-7489/EMAIL: CHRISTOPHER.J.WOOD(AT)USMC.MIL//
POC/MR. JOE BURNS/CIV/ UNIT: MARCORSYSCOM SIAT/-/TEL: 703-432-3099/EMAIL: JOSEPH.C.BURNS(AT)USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  PURPOSE.  To provide initial policy and guidance regarding the use of additive manufacturing (AM) equipment, design and fabrication processes for the production and use of AM-derived parts and other items.  This interim policy does not apply to aviation-related parts or other items used in-flight or in support of aircraft, such as Ground Support Equipment (GSE).  This message addresses AM process categories as defined in REF A and other AM-related process categories that may emerge in the future.
2.  DISCUSSION.
A.  REF A defines AM (also known as 3d printing) as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3d model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive (traditional) manufacturing methodologies.
B.  AM technologies have the potential to advance the expeditionary capabilities of the entire Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF).  The AM technology domain is made up of many different enabling technologies that, in most instances, tie together a 3d design file with a specific process and a specific material.  As of the publication date of this message, AM materials include plastics, metals, rubbers, energetics, concretes, foods, and organic tissues.  Currently, AM processes are used for prototyping, tooling, repair, and manufacturing.  Worn and broken parts can be improved through additive repair technologies, existing parts can be redesigned for decreased weight and increased strength, and entirely new parts can be re-designed to take advantage of AM in ways that are not possible with conventional manufacturing technologies.  Furthermore, AM can “print” prosthetics, electronic components, large scale decoys, unmanned aerial vehicles, and expeditionary shelters.  The uses and limits of AM have only just begun to be discovered – the AM technology domain continues to grow at an accelerated pace and in unpredictable ways.
C.  Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) recognizes that the near-term application of AM can result in innovative solutions, improved responsiveness to Marine Forces (MARFOR), reduced acquisition and total life-cycle cost, and, ultimately, improved readiness.  However, such gains are susceptible to concerns regarding safety, warranties, and intellectual property issues (such as voided warranties when using AM-produced components).  Even though AM has advanced rapidly since it began commercial adoption in 1987, there still remain several technical and procedural challenges to be resolved.  Currently, the maturity of an AM solution to produce an item is highly dependent upon the specific design, process and material used to produce that item, as well as the intended end use of the item.  For example, an AM-derived part can look and feel similar to a conventionally manufactured part, but may have better or worse physical properties (strength, flexibility, weight, etc.), in addition to concerns regarding reliability and suitability.
D.  HQMC has begun to participate in several ongoing AM initiatives throughout the Department of the Navy and other components of the Department of Defense.  The HQMC AM team is led by the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, Logistics Policy, Logistics Vision and Strategy (LPV) branch, through the ‘Next Generation Logistics’ (NexLog) initiative.  In addition to LPV, NexLog-AM team members include the MARFOR, Capabilities Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration (CDD, CD and I), Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL, CD and I), Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Marine Corps Logistics Command (LOGCOM), and the Deputy Commandant for Aviation (DC, AVN).  NexLog-AM will serve as the Marine Corps lead agent for AM-related collaboration with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), Naval Systems Commands, the Naval Research Enterprise, and other Defense Department stakeholders in order to ensure initiatives are aligned and de-conflicted to support utilization and advancement of AM technologies.
3.  REQUIRED ACTION.
A.  This message establishes a Marine Corps-wide call to action for the initial exploration of AM applications, materials, machines, training, standards, and policies.  All current policies and procedures for the modification of equipment remain applicable however, the intent of this message is to allow Marines to explore AM with an informed awareness, mitigation of risks, and required oversight.
B.  Commands are authorized to immediately begin use of AM technologies to produce, fabricate, or manufacture repair parts with a source maintenance and recoverability (SMR), source code of M or X and maintenance code commensurate with the units authorized level of maintenance.  IAW REF B, M coded parts are consumables like hose assemblies, tubing, name plates, decals and wires.  X coded parts are generally non-procurable as no demand is anticipated.
C.  Commands shall coordinate with the above referenced MARCORSYSCOM point of contact (POC) who will facilitate coordination with the applicable program management office if additional technical data is required to facilitate AM of source code M or X parts.  If the intended design file used in the AM process is marked with a technical data restrictive legend, such as limited rights, government purpose rights, SBIR data rights, or a variant of proprietary/confidential, commands are required to first receive a data rights clearance from their legal office.
D.  Commands intending to use AM technologies to produce or modify an object that is intended for use in a configuration-controlled system (defined as a part or item used in a system of record managed by a program manager) or for a safety-critical use, shall request a waiver for departure from original equipment specifications from the MARCORSYSCOM AM POC via MARFOR commands.  MARCORSYSCOM will adjudicate and review requests for submission to the applicable program management office.  The program management office will review requests for deviation and transmit the resulting decision, and justification for the decision, to the requestor, in coordination with the MARCORSYSCOM AM POC.
E.  Commands employing AM for objects used on configuration-controlled systems or safety-critical uses shall ensure that the printed object is printed using a brightly colored material that can be easily identified as non-original to the equipment, such as a bright yellow or green.
F.  Commands intending to use AM technologies to produce or modify items other than configuration-controlled objects, shall, after coordination with the unit’s or higher command level legal office, attain written approval authority from the unit commanding officer.  In order to encourage awareness of the applications of AM technologies, the approval letter, technical data and intended use shall be sent to the cataloging authority at NexLog_AM(at)usmc.mil.
G.  Commands are encouraged to collaborate with, and seek assistance from, the NexLog-AM team and the applicable program management office.  Units currently employing AM are required to document and submit the specific details of AM machines, materials, processes, 3d design software and print file(s), and the products produced to date to the cataloging authority at NexLog_AM(at)usmc.mil.
4.  This message serves as an interim policy on the use of AM, to be further matured and incorporated into existing Marine Corps policies.  For questions, concerns, feedback, or suggestions regarding AM, please contact NexLog_AM(at)usmc.mil.
5.  Release authorized by LtGen M. G. Dana, Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics.//