- Share this! Another #3dprinted development for our students -and for http://3dprinting.org/3dnews/verticals,technology/layer/article/details…
- TECHSHOP INCLUDES 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE MASSES http://3dprinting.org/3dnews/verticals,3d-education/layer/article/details,297,techsh…
- BRAINPOP: Online fun for young brainiacs: http://3dprinting.org/3dnews/layer/article/details,331,brainpop-online-fun-for-young-brainiacs
- STEAM is rising in Virginia schools : http://3dprinting.org/3dnews/verticals,3d-education/layer/article/details,332,steam-is-rising-in-virg…
- Something new is coming to 3DPrinting.org. A new focus on education and placing a 3D Printer in every school that wants one. Stay tuned!
Just as NASA is looking at 3d printing printing technology to support long term, deep space missions, the United States Navy is mulling the same technology for its own missions. Ships are often at sea for many months, so a way to rapidly create spare parts for, say, aircraft would be fairly useful.
The USS Essex, an amphibious assault vessel that carried a number of helicopters, is taking with her on her current cruise a 3d printer to see how well it works on the ocean. The goals of the experiment are modest, but have far reaching implications.
The purpose of the experiment is to find out how well a 3d printer works on board a ship, with constant vibrations and rolling seas. The printer will handle some of the low hanging fruit of the technology, disposable medical supplies, a cap for an oil tank, and even a model airplane. Making more elaborate things like parts for aircraft are in the future.
In a way land based 3d printing is far more advanced than is being attempted at sea. A number of aerospace companies are already making parts from additive manufacturing, another term for the technology. Still there are a couple of areas where shipboard 3d printing can see an early application.
First, it can be useful in building cheap, disposable aerial drones. It can also be used for creating spare parts for older weapons systems that no longer have parts being made by conventional methods.
Eventually, once safety issues are ironed out, every ship in the Navy is likely to have at least one 3d printer, especially aircraft and helicopter carriers, with high maintenance costs.