NPS Consortium Advances Progressive Naval Purposes of Additive Manufacturing > United States Navy > News Tales

The Consortium for Superior Manufacturing Analysis and Training (CAMRE) is leveraging NPS’ sturdy AM basis and innovation ecosystem, bringing collectively the best experience in AM applied sciences and capabilities with college students and seasoned college to ship rising applied sciences and capabilities to the warfighter.

From at-sea and in-flight demonstrations aboard U.S. Navy and Marine Corps platforms, to the coordination and facilitation of testing on U.S. Coast Guard vessels in distant areas of the world, CAMRE and its companions are showcasing the potential of additive manufacturing for expeditionary logistics.

For instance, in the summertime of 2023, the Marine Corps made headlines with the primary in-flight 3D printing of a medical solid aboard an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor plane throughout a coaching train in Southern California. NPS and CAMRE labored with companions on the Marine Innovation Unit (MIU) on the demonstration, which highlighted a key part of the Marine Corps’ Drive Design 2030.

“We’re simply scratching the floor on the capabilities that may come from having the ability to 3D print in flight,” stated U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Michael Radigan, liaison to NPS from the MIU. “Dozens of printers being put in in a modular vogue aboard plane brings the flexibility for cell manufacturing at a scale we’ve got not skilled earlier than.”

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing, because it’s extra generally recognized – is the computer-controlled course of of making three-dimensional objects by “printing” materials, layer upon layer, to construct up an merchandise with the best of element. Whether or not creating a toddler’s toy or a complicated machine half, it’s economical and environment friendly, using a minimal of sources with a minimal of labor and time.

AM know-how is beginning to impression industrial manufacturing because the world shifts from analog to digital know-how. Throughout the Division of Protection (DOD), 3D printing is acknowledged as a strong and versatile instrument offering technical benefits throughout a variety of protection purposes.

In January 2021, the Division of Protection printed its first-ever Additive Manufacturing Technique to “present a shared set of guiding rules and a framework for AM know-how improvement and transition to help modernization and Warfighter readiness” throughout the army.

NPS has a historical past of early AM know-how adoption, beginning in 2009 with the set up of a Stratasys 3D printer on campus, and lately has explored AM applied sciences, comparable to wire-fed AM, liquid steel jetting, and laser powder mattress fusion steel AM – a functionality which is of curiosity to the Navy. Moreover, since 2019 the NPS Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Division has supplied a devoted graduate-level AM course which has already educated greater than 100 officers who will serve within the fleet.

“This type of know-how is admittedly important to keep up the prevalence of the Navy, and we intention to have our college students prepared for the challenges forward,” stated NPS Affiliate Professor Dr. I. Emre Gunduz, the technical lead for CAMRE who has greater than 20 years of AM expertise. “Their schooling and coaching right here is essential, to allow them to use AM successfully.”

Now in its second 12 months, CAMRE represents a unified effort at NPS devoted to the enhancement of AM schooling for protection purposes and integration of AM applied sciences throughout the Navy, Marine Corps and joint pressure. CAMRE proliferates new capabilities, delivering hands-on schooling and creating expertise and applied sciences by way of utilized analysis with operational forces.

CAMRE is really interdisciplinary in nature, reaching throughout eight totally different departments and fields as numerous as mechanical and supplies engineering, laptop science, cybersecurity, synthetic intelligence and protection administration.

“CAMRE was congressionally directed as a part of an effort to speed up AM adoption throughout the tri-service maritime forces – the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps,” defined CAMRE program supervisor Chris Curran.

In keeping with Curran, success on this mission is completed not solely by “constructing on the Z” – referring to the mechanics of 3D printing alongside all three axes, X, Y and Z – however by way of schooling, materials sciences development, adoption and operational impacts of AM applied sciences.

“NPS permits us to be very impactful on this and never simply construct on the Z,” Curran stated. “Our objective is to guarantee that each Sailor and Marine who’s going to make use of AM is uncovered to it. How are we educating them to know the baseline? How are we integrating augmented and digital actuality know-how? How are we utilizing satellite tv for pc communications to have open discussions with engineers for reach-back help? How will we guarantee there’s no counterfeit injected into the system that permits for flaws to be inbuilt by our adversaries? How will we shorten the provision chain? How do we’ve got manufacturing on the level of want? These are the sorts of questions we’re asking [at CAMRE].”

In the course of the first 12 months of its preliminary funding, CAMRE checked out how NPS might additional optimize scholar publicity to AM know-how by way of new programs on the NPS campus and collaborated with the Naval Programs Engineering Directorate (NAVSEA 05) to speed up adoption of AM at sea. NAVSEA 05, which is main the cost for afloat AM, funded the set up of a Philips hybrid 3D printer aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5).

In July 2022, CAMRE partnered with Commander, Naval Floor Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC) to put in a liquid steel printer on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in the course of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) train. This was the primary time researchers and Sailors have been capable of take a look at and consider a steel printer onboard a ship. Since then, the liquid steel printer has been put in aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22) in preparation for additional at-sea testing and analysis.

What’s extra, the know-how utilized by Marines to conduct 3D printing aboard the Osprey in 2023 was additionally employed in extra assessments facilitated by CAMRE, although in two vastly totally different environments – the Arctic Circle and the South Pacific.

The Superior Manufacturing Operational System (AMOS), developed at Naval Data Warfare Heart (NIWC) Pacific in San Diego, was positioned aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Healy (WAGB 20) in the course of the vessel’s transit by way of the Arctic in the summertime of 2023.

On the similar time, Marines from Fight Logistics Battalion 11, I Marine Expeditionary Drive (I MEF), used AMOS to fabricate a formed explosive cost, permitting them to destroy a World Warfare II-era 500-pound bomb threatening the state legislature constructing in Pohnpei, Micronesia.

In keeping with Gunduz, the analysis afforded by these machines continues to be a boon – from basic analysis, starting from AM of high-performance aerospace aluminum alloys like Al 7075 which are exhausting to fabricate and utility of those supplies, to low-density multifunctional metallic constructions for autonomous automobiles and energetics.

U.S. Navy Lt. Zachary Vrtis, a Ph.D. candidate at NPS, is doing his analysis below Gunduz’s supervision. Along with analysis in help of his dissertation, titled “Aluminum Alloy Fabrication Strategies Utilizing Liquid Steel Printing,” Vrtis can also be on the lookout for methods to speed up adoption of steel AM by the fleet for ship and submarine restore.

“As an Engineering Responsibility Officer with a background in submarine operations and restore, I’m very enthusiastic about enhancing the throughput of the Navy’s shipyards with a view to enhance the operational availability of our fleet,” stated Vrtis. “The objective of my analysis is to efficiently print aluminum alloy 7075 parts with the identical materials properties as ones produced through conventional strategies. From there, the sky is the restrict, and I stay up for exploring methods to additional enhance the power to weight ratio of parts fabricated with Al 7075.”

After NPS, Vrtis will obtain orders to a Navy shipyard, and he’s trying ahead to persevering with his collaboration with Gunduz and the CAMRE staff.

“Along with my analysis, I’m working with CAMRE and the naval shipyards and restore actions to search for alternatives in upcoming workouts and repairs to show the worth of steel AM,” Vrtis added. “Proper now, the Navy is preventing an growing backlog of upkeep in our shipyards, and I hope to cut back that by discovering increasingly makes use of for steel AM.”

One other notable utility is modeling and investigating the fundamental physics of hypersonics, based on Garth Hobson, CAMRE director and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) professor.

Drawing extensively on the liquid steel printer and a small powder mattress steel printer, NPS engineers are capable of fabricate all kinds of parts out of various metals, together with aluminum and titanium, predict their efficiency utilizing computational fluid dynamics, and see how they carry out below hypersonic situations.

“We’re utilizing the liquid steel printer to print – you identify it: brackets, rake probes,” Hobson stated.

For instance, U.S. Navy Ensign G. Forrest Dawe, an NPS Aerospace Engineering scholar, created a tool with the liquid steel printer to measure inner situations to additional streamline a newly upgraded wind tunnel.

The lately graduated Dawe attended NPS as a Shoemaker Scholar, placing him on a quick observe to earn his grasp’s diploma in only one 12 months after his undergraduate diploma at Boston College and earlier than attending Navy flight coaching in Pensacola, Fla. In keeping with Dawe, his analysis measured velocity and strain alongside the wind tunnel to characterize airflow.

Along with the analysis already underway, CAMRE is trying to increase its services within the NPS lab annex space, using Constructing 230 to deal with extra 3D printers.

One other space of focus because the group enters its second 12 months is the expeditionary facet of AM, particularly chilly spray printing. Chilly spray know-how blasts a supersonic fuel stream heated as much as a temperature of 800 to 900 levels Celsius to “print” dense sturdy components of metals, polymers, and composite supplies. The kinetic power of the powders is sufficient to pancake and bond them collectively with out having to soften the fabric, therefore the “chilly” spray.

“We made a strategic determination and bought an expeditionary chilly spray printer,” Curran stated. “Strategic subs, Naval Aviation, the Marine Corps and NAVSEA are all excited about chilly spray and expeditionary, so shopping for that one machine means we will nonetheless make components and do analysis, however we’re not restricted to a big machine which stays in a single room. It could journey.”

Moreover, the collective curiosity will yield second-order analysis funding; in consequence, what was programmatically a three-year plus-up now has a seven- or eight-year horizon, with room to develop.

“We’re being very deliberate as a result of CAMRE’s not a program of report,” Curran added. “Nonetheless, adoption of AM is just not an issue that may resolve itself in three years. You gained’t get full adoption, not to mention the way you prepare, educate, observe and certify Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.”

Amela Sadagic, CAMRE co-director and an NPS laptop science analysis affiliate professor, holds a user-centric strategy to AM adoption. She works along with her college students, whom she credit as having the position of change brokers, to develop augmented and digital actuality purposes for AM know-how and domesticate innovation.


“AM is probably going the one know-how the place area customers – Sailors, Troopers and Marines – are empowered by the instruments that this know-how supplies to innovate and supply concepts for components and instruments that by no means existed,” Sadagic stated. “So actually the one people who’ve data about situations of their work environments, and what works, what doesn’t work and what breaks, are the area customers.”

“No scientist and no firm is aware of that kind of data,” she added.

Sadagic cites the time a Sailor needed to deliver 4 totally different instruments up a ladder to keep up a system. He knew that probabilities have been at the least one of many instruments dropping, so the Sailor got here up with the thought of forging one single instrument that built-in all 4 features.

“To me, that was ingenious,” she stated. “Typically once you strategy people who’re educated, they’ve a approach of seeing advances and advantages in a approach that issues get enabled quicker.”

That, Sadagic continued, is CAMRE’s objective: to the touch as many Sailors and Marines as doable in order that down the street, the best way is paved for the adoption of AM know-how.

“We’re rising a military of people that can be knowledgeable and capable of help innovation in AM,” Sadagic stated.