In those two years, the center has made significant
inroads toward employing the process to generate
Technology, developing a three-hour, hands-on learning protocol. Conducting two such classes a week, the
Sailors were able to teach comrades how to use 2- and
3-dimensional software, 3-D printers and laser cutters to
manufacture functional parts.
n Another group of Sailors from the center followed
up on a Board of Inspection and Survey safety report
by developing a throat guard design for the commercial
grade garbage disposals aboard littoral combat ships
(LCSs) to keep Sailors’ hands safe and away from the
They used 3-D printers and polymer to make the
part, which was installed on USS Coronado in San Diego
after the part passed a functionality test at Naval Surface
Weapons Center, Carderock Division, Md. The LCS program office now is moving to increase the capability of
manufacturing such parts.
Other success stories include outfitting the aircraft
carrier USS Harry S. Truman and amphibious assault ship
USS Kearsarge with smaller versions of Fab Labs, at a cost
of $10,000 each. Truman’s crew, while on a recent deployment, used the lab to manufacture a nitrogen-purge kit
to replace a corroded wrap around panel brackets on an
F/A- 18 Super Hornet, a plastic adapter for the anesthesiologists to use on a waste gas machine and a radar test-bench set. The medical gear could prove to save lives. The
test-bench set averted the need to stop work for 10 days.
Truman Sailors also solved a recurring problem that
involved a handset attachment to Hydra radios, which
often broke. The device they came up with, called the
Tru Clip, kept the faulty handsets operating throughout
21 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / NOVEMBER 2016
Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Ashley Figert uses a 3-D printer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in
the Atlantic Ocean Nov. 27, 2015. Truman has been outfitted with a version of a Fabrication Laboratory, or Fab Lab. A typical
Fab Lab contains a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, including a computer numerical control router,
a 3-D mill and scanner, a vinyl cutter, a laser cutter, an electronics workbench, a 3-D printer, and software and computers.