Metal 3D Printing for Improved Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 141056

Problem: Lack of repair parts for equipment away from maintenance facilities and normal supply chains can cause an untimely and costly delays and has been a critical gap for industry and government alike.  Developing metal printing capability will augment existing machine shops and provide parts faster and at lower price points.  Operational efficiency of the full-time employees (FTEs) in the shops will increase as parts that can be printed will be fabricated, enabling the limited machinists more time to focus on the parts that do not lend themselves to additive manufacturing.

Benefit: By having the ability to fabricate metal parts quickly and on demand using a 3D printer and an additive manufacturing process, an organization gains the freedom it needs to continue production uninterrupted This project can be used as a blueprint for private industry supply chains to integrate rapid 3D printing as an alternative source of supply and manufacturing.

Solution/Approach: Developing and demonstrating metal printing 3D printing solutions across the naval shipyards will augment existing machine shops.  Introducing industrial 3D printing at the shipyards will enable the Navy to print many parts (such as custom tools and fixtures) that are currently taking up the limited time of machinists.  The industry team will identify test use cases to print, work with the Navy to build out a parts library to share across the shipyards, and document lessons learned.  

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce overall supply chain costs
  • Improve maintenance backlogs
  • Decrease remote logistics footprint
  • Increase warfighter readiness

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy, NAVSEA

Industry Participation:

  • Joint Additive Manufacturing Working Group
  • Additive Manufacturing for Maintenance Operations Working Group
  • MarkForged
  • GovSmart
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Additive/advanced manufacturing