Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 has adopted use of additive manufacturing or 3D printing for service branch's 5th, 6th and 7th fleets. The battalion leverages tactical fabrication tools such as 3D scanners and printers as the group seeks to implement the manufacturing approach across naval sites in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, the U.S. Navy said Friday. The group is working to produce Class IX repair parts and Class IV materials via 3D printing to meet critical mission demands.
“The upside to this process is with the proper database they can print repair parts instead to waiting 30 to 90 days for new parts to come in," said Lt. Michael Lundy, who supports the chief of naval operations' fleet readiness and logistics staff as a reservist. He added that the only possible hindrance would be the limit of imagination. Lundy also noted that the battalion has already printed over 30 various parts, and identified 50 more designs that still require computerized models.
Cmdr. Joe Symmes, supply officer at the 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, said that naval construction personnel could potentially use 3D printing for repairs on the battlefield in the near future.