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Navy turns to 3D printing solutions to support fleet at sea

Royal Australian Navy sailors aboard HMAS Parramatta have used 3D printing technology to support the fleet while deployed, using the innovative technology to replace key components.

Royal Australian Navy sailors aboard HMAS Parramatta have used 3D printing technology to support the fleet while deployed, using the innovative technology to replace key components.

HMAS Parramatta’s embarked Innovation Unit demonstrated its capability during the ship’s recent East Asia Deployment, using 3D printing to replicate necessary items and developing new skills.

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Overcoming obstacles while at sea is all in a day’s work for an innovative group of sailors in HMAS Parramatta, who are putting their problem-solving skills and innovative approach at the forefront of their daily work.

Petty Officer Electronic Technician Nathan Little, the Unit Innovation Coordinator, said significant innovations have already improved capability on board.

“Our 3D printing workshop was very successful during our deployment, producing three practical and real-world solutions and returning capability back to our command,” PO Little said.

“We worked closely with other areas of the ship to identify issues and find real-world solutions. We were able to replicate faulty parts and return full functionality, which is a great success for the team,” PO Little added. 

Some innovations the Innovation Unit has come up with while at sea have the potential to become the new standards and to be used across platforms.

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While the 3D printing workshop is a catalyst, the real innovators and problem solvers are the unit’s team members.

Leading Seaman Electronic Technician Duncan O’Brien has been awarded a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for his initiative in developing his skill set without prior experience.

“To have been recognised for my work is a great personal achievement. What’s even better is that my new skills now directly benefit my ship and the whole team on board,” LS O’Brien said.

Navy turns to 3D printing solutions to support fleet at sea
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