First Lt. Simon Miller of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, demonstrates the installation of drain plugs that are part of an engine ship kit he designed and built using a 3D printer, Nov. 29, 2018. (JAMES BOLINGER/STARS AND STRIPES)
First Lt. Simon Miller of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, demonstrates the installation of drain plugs that are part of an engine ship kit he designed and built using a 3D printer, Nov. 29, 2018. (JAMES BOLINGER/STARS AND STRIPES)

Iwakuni Marines use 3D printers to revolutionize maintenance for fighter jets

by James Bolinger
Stars and Stripes

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Using 3D printers, Marines based in southern Japan created two products that reduce the time it takes to repair F/A-18 Hornets and may save the Defense Department money.

Called an engine ship kit, the first innovation is a set of plastic clips and plugs to prevent oil and hydraulic fluid leaking from aircraft engines removed for repairs. The other is a tool that helps maintainers grease the bearings on the F/A-18’s high-speed Gatling gun.

Designed by Marines from MCAS Iwakuni’s Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, the engine ship kit will have an immediate impact on operations, squadron commander Lt. Col. Javier Garcia recently told Stars and Stripes.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.566446

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