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Dr. Ben Gould and Senior Chief Machinery Repairman (SW/AW) Sean Boykin are revolutionizing the fleet, naval research labs, and shipyards -- with a little help from their friends and 3D Printing. They collaborated with additive manufacturing experts to improve warfighting capabilities and readiness throughout the 2017 Department of the Navy (DON) 3D Print-a-Thon held at the Pentagon, March 15.

From 17-21 October 2016, Marines from 2d Maintenance Battalion teamed up with soft-ware designers to identify requirements and develop a digital collaboration site and repository. With the intent to increase additive manufacturing productivity and transmit the sharing of files electronically, the results of their efforts was the creation of a website and software app that can be used on any mobile device. This easily accessible platform will not only provide a source for Marines to obtain already approved files, but will facilitate design improvements and allow for greater communications across the Marine Corps Maker Movement.


In the third issue of the Department of the Navy (DON) Strategy and Innovation newsletter, we explore the exciting frontiers of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Sophisticated additive manufacturing tools and techniques have increasingly demonstrated great potential to revolutionize the DON's logistics, supply-chain, and acquisition systems. Better still, there is a growing effort within the enterprise to make this technology accessible to more Sailors, Marines, and DON Civilians -- motivating and empowering the innovators of the future.

On 3 April 2017, during Sea-Air-Space, ATHENA Project DC 2.0 will host a shark tank style pitch competition for innovators to share their ideas and network with others interested in innovation. Pitch entries are open to anyone -- service members (all branches, active or reserve), Department of Defense Civilians, retirees, and students alike. Audience is open to all supportive of innovation in the DoD.

Alternative ASW platforms including UAVs, USVs, and UUVs in development need deployable miniature sonobuoys that will meet platform size, weight, and power restrictions. Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides the ability to produce lightweight, expendable, modular components that can be produced and assembled on-demand from at-sea platforms. Functional AM container with integrated wiring, as-printed air chambers, and quick-assembly features allow for the small form-factor design. These AM designs will provide commonality among significant components required for several types of sonobuoys.


Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Port Hueneme Division has successfully demonstrated shipboard tactical application of additive manufacturing: a quadcopter assembled and flight tested in the hangar bay of the USS Essex in support of Vessel Boarding, Search and Seizure operations. Researchers worked with the Fleet and shore-based engineering centers to define the requirements of the operation, email applicable system files to the ship, and assist in the tactical unmanned aircraft's assembly and flight demonstration.

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