Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

‘Ships run on diesel and coffee’

Coast Guard sees 3D printing as necessity

Ensign Abigail Isaacs uses a 3D printer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy

Coast Guard sees 3D printing as necessity

3D-printed coffee pot handle

Sarah Saunders has reported on the U.S. Coast Guard adopting 3D printing into its day-to-day operations in her article on Thursday at She writes that five U.S. Coast Guard cutters currently have 3D printers onboard and this branch of the armed forces is also using them in their Surface Forces Logistics Center Engineering Services Division in Baltimore and at Base New Orleans for use in replacing broken or needed objects. In addition, studies at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in Connecticut are being done to see how 3D printing can improve mission readiness for the Coast Guard.

Examples of naval use of 3D printing dates back to August of last year when we reported on the U.S. Navy saving thousands by 3D-printing radio clips. In Saunder’s story, we learn how the Coast Guard is saving money and staying functional with critical repairs, as in the coffee pot handle shown above for the Coast Guard Cutter James.

Coast Guard sees 3D printing as necessity

3D-printed scullery nozzle

Saunders writes that according to James’ commanding officer Captain Mark Fedor, “’Ships run on diesel and coffee.’ I work alone in my office every day, and I still need caffeine each morning to feel like a functioning human; I can’t imagine being at sea with over 100 other people and no working coffee pot.”

Another example of part repair inarguably essential to the operation of a ship’s galley was a scullery nozzle 3D-printed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy.

Program Manager Capt. Joseph Dugan of the National Security Cutter Program stated, “Sometimes manufacturers no longer make the parts, and need to retool a production line in order to make us the part we need. This can be time-consuming, and very costly to the government.

“I think the utility of the 3D printer is the ability to print parts that are not normally kept onboard. Sometimes those parts have lead times of weeks… maybe months, depending on the workload of the manufacturer.”

We recommend reading the full article at and advocate active discussion on the practicality of 3D printing in all maritime use.

Navy Saves Thousands with 3D-Printer at Sea

Posted by Editor On June - 4 - 2016

Navy Saves Thousands with 3D-Printer at Sea

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Stevens, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Figert, 3D printer technicians onboard the USS Harry S. Truman, watch the printer at work. The 3D printer shop aboard the Truman invented ”Tru Clips” to protect attachments for the ship’s handheld radios. Photo by Chris Church/Stars and Stripes.

With 3D printers aboard the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, the Navy was able to produce a remedy for their own equipment needs at six cents a print. Not only that, the clip they produced will be used by astronauts on the International Space Station.

For the full story and photos of the Tru Clips, see:

3D Printing at Sea

Posted by Editor On April - 29 - 2016

In its 18th annual report on additive manufacturing published last May, Wohlers Associates forecasted that we can expect the 3D printing industry to be worth $4 billion in 2015, and to reach $10.8 billion by 2021. According to, the maritime industry will be among those with the most to gain from 3D printing technology based on the structure of the industry.

Let’s take a closer look to examine the inner workings of this structure; the business of the industry is to export and import goods and services using the waterways as a means for transport; when shipping and naval vessels are travelling across the oceans and something breaks, the ability to immediately repair or manufacture spare items on site has a certain appeal. Today modern cargo ships are required to order and stock large numbers of spare parts and supplies to make sure that they are not caught short when needs arise out at sea. Imagine how 3D printing can change the way this process is managed?

To read more on this article including maritime 3D printing for military uses, see: