Page 10: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (January 2023)

The Ship Repair & Conversion Edition

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Eye on the Navy



By Edward Lundquist

The U.S. Navy has long valued the potential of additive While there are many things one can do with AM, such as manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing. rapid prototyping, the holy grail has been the ability to fabri-

AM refers to the depositing of material layer by layer to cate parts at sea to repair things quickly. Imagine not having create an object. For the Navy, it’s not practical to carry every to carry multiple spare parts for every piece of equipment, replacement part for every system on a ship, and it can be or having to rely on a lengthy supply chain to get urgently dif? cult to forecast if or when parts will fail. AM provides a needed parts from a supply depot.

? exible source of supply in being able to make parts instead Desktop 3D printers are widely available, starting at about of ordering them and waiting for them to arrive, especially for $300 for a home system. Many ships have 3D printers that warships at the far end of the supply chain. Printing repair make relatively small plastic parts. parts on demand can save time, lower costs and reduce the “We’ve been using polymer plastic printers on ships and need to carry extensive parts inventories. submarines for several years, but they are essentially desktop

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ace Rheaume 10 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • January 2023

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.