US-based printing company Essentium has demonstrated the viability and efficacy of its additive manufacturing (AM) technology to enhance the US Navy’s capability to perform expeditionary maintenance operations.

The company showcased its solutions at the US Navy’s Repair Technology Exercise 2022 (REPTX 22), whose first iteration was held from 22 August to 2 September at Port Hueneme, California.

During the exercise, Essentium’s team members demonstrated the capabilities of its modified Essentium 280i HSE 3D Printer, which has new field-deployable features.

This 3D printer was presented as part of the ongoing efforts with the US National Guard Bureau (NGB) and the US Air Force (USAF) to provide joint capabilities for 3D printing endeavours.

Essentium chief technology officer Elisa Teipel said: “Essentium is committed to exploration at the edge of AM and is grateful to have found such amazing partners in ARCWERX, the USAF Rapid Sustainment Office, and now the US Navy to do so.

“We are thrilled to work collaboratively on challenges, participate in amazing events like REPTX, and are excited to see what comes next.”

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The AM technology was presented during REPTX and applied to various real-world scenarios organised by the US Navy.

These included uncrewed systems, robotics, augmented reality, repair, communication and data connectivity.

Apart from Essentium, around 60 naval, academia and industry partners from across the world took part in REPTX 22.

Conducted aboard the US Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS), REPTX allowed the participants to pitch innovative technologies and solutions for various maintenance challenges faced by the US Navy.

Essentium third applications engineer Zach Burhop said: “The opportunity to work directly with Sailors offered amazing insight into how additive manufacturing can benefit future of digital manufacturing within the Navy.

“The unique environment of a Navy ship showcased the need for a deployable digital manufacturing solution that can address the wide diversity of part needs both at port and when underway.”