Commemoration event for largest 3D printer held at RIA-JMTC
Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), (left front), and Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), (center), view updates and capabilities of the Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence Oct. 24 prior to the Jointless Hull commemoration event at RIA-JMTC. Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center develops, manufactures and delivers readiness solutions through conventional and advanced manufacturing processes for the U.S. Army and Department of Defense systems globally. (U.S. Army photo by Debralee Lutgen/RIA-JTMC) (Photo Credit: Debralee Lutgen) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — Modernization plans at the Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center are coming to fruition with multiple projects, funded for more than $45 million, beginning to break ground.

One of those projects is the Jointless Hull Large Format Tool, the world’s largest 3D metal printer, set to be operational this coming spring. A commemoration event was held at its future installation site on Oct. 24.

This tool will be capable of printing components as large as 20-ft. by 30-ft. by 12-ft. and is designed to improve military vehicle protection by eliminating the seams in the hull, which are inherently the weakest part of a vehicle.

“Today is not only a celebration of one of the Army’s centerpiece modernization efforts, but also the beginning of an endeavor to ensure the survivability of America’s fighting force,” said Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command.

Commemoration event for largest 3D printer held at RIA-JMTC
Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, gathers with industry partners from Ingersoll Machine Tool, Siemens Digital Industries, MELD Manufacturing, LIFT and ASTRO America, following the Jointless Hull commemoration event at Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, Oct. 24. Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center develops, manufactures and delivers readiness solutions through conventional and advanced manufacturing processes for the U.S. Army and Department of Defense systems globally. (U.S. Army photo by Debralee Lutgen/RIA-JTMC) (Photo Credit: Debralee Lutgen) VIEW ORIGINAL

With a $20 million investment in the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, housed at RIA-JMTC, it made sense to add this printer to its capabilities, according to Edward Flinn, director, Advance Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Another $11 million was invested to fund this project.

“The Jointless Hull is an advanced manufacturing capability unique to the Army that does not exist anywhere else in the world,” said Marta Tomkiw, executive director of Systems Integration & Engineering at U.S. Army Development Command Ground Vehicles Systems Center. “This novel machine gives the Army a one-of-a-kind cutting-edge technology placing the Army at the forefront of manufacturing technology and capability development.”

Throughout its support for the U.S. Army in every major conflict since the Spanish-American War, in the forefront of providing protection solutions for warfighters around the world was RIA-JMTC. Producing aluminum howitzers, superbazookas and add-on armor solutions, this factory has answered the call, time and time again. This new capability will continue that tradition and allow RIA-JMTC to continue finding innovative solutions for Soldiers.

Commemoration event for largest 3D printer held at RIA-JMTC
(Left to right) Marta Tomkiw, executive director, Systems Integration & Engineering at U.S. Army Developmental Command Ground Vehicles Systems Center; Representative Cheri Bustos (IL); Senator Dick Durbin (IL); Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command; and Col. Shari Bennett, commander, Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, display the plaque commemorating the future installation of the Jointless Hull printer during a ceremony Oct. 24 at RIA-JMTC. Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center develops, manufactures and delivers readiness solutions through conventional and advanced manufacturing processes for the U.S. Army and Department of Defense systems globally. (U.S. Army photo by Debralee Lutgen/RIA-JTMC) (Photo Credit: Debralee Lutgen) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Rock Island Arsenal has always answered the nation’s call, from serving at the forefront of artillery production in the World Wars to producing essential components for ventilators and testing kits during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rock Island Arsenal has proven that it’s capable of modernizing to meet today’s challenges,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. “I cannot think of a more fitting home for the world’s largest 3D metal printer, which will have even broader impact than just the battlefield. I look forward to seeing the cutting-edge technology that comes from Rock Island’s new assignment.”

The Jointless Hull Army partners include the U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Army’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at RIA-JMTC. Industry partners include Ingersoll Machine Tool, the company building the tool; Siemens Digital Industries, MELD Manufacturing, LIFT and ASTRO America.

Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center develops, manufactures and delivers readiness solutions through conventional and advanced manufacturing processes for the U.S. Army and Department of Defense systems globally.