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Navy Explores 3-D Printing as Logistics, Manufacturing Offering; Phil Cullom Comments

U.S. NavyThe U.S. Navy is planning to train its personnel in additive manufacturing technology as it turns to 3-D printing as an at-sea offering to manufacture replacement parts and decrease shipping time and cost, Defense Systems reported Monday.

Joey Cheng writes the Navy held workshops during the recent Maker Faire at Combat Direction Systems Activity – Dam Neck to demonstrate additive manufacturing techniques and discuss educational opportunities on the technology.

“When you consider the cost and vulnerabilities of our existing Navy logistics and supply chains as well as the resource constraints we face, it quickly becomes clear that we have to reimagine how we do business,” said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics.

Cullom noted the potential for a network of fabrication shops where trained sailors manufacture products to meet identified needs.

“The quantity of supplies we carry on board could be reduced significantly if we 3D print those products on the ship,” added Capt. Jim Loper, head of the concepts and innovations department at the Navy Warfare Development Center.

The Navy is among others in government exploring the 3-D printing technology, as the U.S. Army and NASA formed an Additive Manufacturing Integrated Product Team earlier this year, Cheng reports.

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