21 May 2019

NAVSEA and NUWC division develop 3D printing for shipyards

Researcher groups from the US military are advancing 3D Printing for use in Naval shipyards in Keyport, Washington.

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Tactical Innovation Implementation Lab (TIIL) is advancing and maturing additive manufacturing (AM, also known as 3D printing) technology into the naval shipyards to support the fleet through Print Sprint II. Partnering with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport, the NAVSEA Print Sprint series of events acts as a catalyst for Navy maintenance providers to work collaboratively towards new solutions and applications for 3D printing.

The FY 19 Department of Defense Appropriations Act includes an increase of $20M to support the development of advanced additive technologies for the sustainment of naval assets. The committee recognised the need to accelerate the delivery of technical capabilities to support the warfighter and to advance technologies that will modernise and sustain military systems in a cost-effective manner via the Advanced Shipyard Technology (AST) program.

Director of the TIIL Janice Bryant said: “It is important to recognize the link between investment in, and development of, emerging technologies to create efficiency for both public and private organizations.”

“Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the Navy’s supply chain. Sprint efforts are centered on advancing and maturing this capability within and across Navy maintenance depots.”

“Print Sprints leverage partnerships to provide value to our naval shipyards through knowledge sharing, holistic development and systemic integration. We are incredibly proud of the work these teams are doing to advance additive manufacturing”

Print Sprint aims to determine a fleet or shipyard’s ability to create a part through 3D printing. NUWC Division allows additive manufacture to be shared across NAVSEA easily.

The Navy aims to use events like Print Sprint and the NUWC Division to encourage collaboration across research and development groups. It is hoped that in the future 3D printing will allow Navy Personnel to access a NAVSEA Library and manufacture a part on the day it is needed.

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