RAN frigate HMAS Warramunga uses new 3D printer at innovation workshop

14 March 2018 (Last Updated March 14th, 2018 12:14)

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has announced it is adopting new technologies and implementing latest solutions on-board its Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga with the establishment of the vessel's own Deployed Innovation Workshop.

RAN frigate HMAS Warramunga uses new 3D printer at innovation workshop
An RAN sailor, able seaman electronics technician Luke Pozzi, with HMAS Warramunga’s 3D printer. Credit: Royal Australian Navy.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has announced it is adopting new technologies and implementing latest solutions on-board its Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga with the establishment of the vessel’s own Deployed Innovation Workshop.

The workshop was established during preparation for the ship’s deployment on Operation Manitou in the Middle East region.

It is primarily based around a three-dimensional (3D) printer, new electronic kits and multiple civilian software tools.

"We looked out our options and thought ‘why not just print a fix’, and within 24 hours we were able to print and fit the part."

HMAS Warramunga able seaman electronics technician Luke Pozzi has already used the new 3D printing equipment to design, print and fit a temporary replacement part at sea when faced with an issue relating to a pressure sensor, which restored the system to its full functionality.

Pozzi said: “We looked out our options and thought ‘why not just print a fix’, and within 24 hours we were able to print and fit the part.

“Initially we weren’t sure if it would work, so it was quite a buzz when the system came up to the correct pressure.”

Personnel from the RAN vessel have developed and conducted on-board tutorials for the new printing equipment.

The engineers currently conduct weekly workshops relating to Computer Aid Design, 3D printing and software development.

These skills are expected to be applied beyond the technical departments to design, develop and enact solutions across the frigate in future.

The new equipment and the related tutorials are expected to allow crew members of the HMAS Warramunga to meet the Chief of Navy’s Innovation Statement by improving their technical resilience in the deployed environment.

RAN’s Deployed Innovation Workshop project is being co-ordinated by FFG Enterprise, Fleet Base East Centre for Innovation and HMAS Warramunga.