3D Printing for Improved Maintenance and Sustainment of Shipyards – Phase II

NCMS Project #: 142223

Problem: Providing timely logistics support, construction, conversion, overhaul, and repair to the United States (U.S.) Navy fleet is an ongoing challenge at the Naval Shipyards Between 2012 and 2018, only 30% of maintenance was completed on scheduleIn particular, most Navy attack submarines have suffered maintenance delays The backlog is caused by insufficient capacity in shipyards, as well as shortages of shipyard workers The U.S. Navy must adopt best in class technologies to minimize down time of its fleet, to maintain mission readiness.

Solution/Approach: Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, allows for rapid sustainment and decreased Maintenance Cycle Times (MCT) by providing repair parts quickly, locally (at or near the point of need), and in many cases cheaper than Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).  The overall objective of this initiative is to utilize Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) metal 3D printing technology to support maintenance and sustainment requirements with reliable, repeatable and timely repair parts. 

Benefit: This initiative will demonstrate a capability that can be employed by the operational forces, increasing productivity and providing a streamlined process for all of the armed services to utilize Furthermore, this initiative can be leveraged toward public maintenance and sustainment business processes.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase on-demand production of repair parts 
  • Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Enhance mission and warfighter readiness 
  • Shorten supply chain lead times 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy, Yokosuka Naval Shipyard Facility 
  • Norfolk Naval Shipyard (observer) 
  • Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (observer) 
  • Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (observer) 
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (observer) 

Industry Participation:

  • 3D Printing Corporation K.K. 
  • NCMS 

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost Savings
  • Repair Turn-Around Time
  • Obsolescence
  • Maintenance Management Improvement
  • Improved Readiness

Focus Area:

  • Advanced/Additive Manufacturing

Final Report