US Navy reveals plans to use a blockchain to control its 3D printers

blockchain

US Navy reveals plans to use a blockchain to control its 3D printers

The U.S Department of the Navy (DoN) has revealed plans to use a blockchain to control its 3D printers.

The U.S Navy is increasing its implementation of 3D printing and earlier this year ordered its first Concept Laser metal 3D printer and also recently produced its first 3D printed aircraft part.

Lieutenant Commander Jon McCarter has now revealed in a blog post that the DoN will begin trialling blockchain this summer before issuing a report in September on the proof-of-concept.

Decentralized network 
Blockchain is an example of a decentralized network which means data is shared across the network and not secured in one location. By having a distributed network in this way the Navy can “both securely share data between Additive Manufacturing sites, as well as help secure the digital thread of design and production.

The digital thread is the data concerned with manufacturing a part and is all the data that defines the manufactured part across its development – from design to final part production. Continue reading “US Navy reveals plans to use a blockchain to control its 3D printers”

Can MES software significantly transform Additive Manufacturing design?

Additive Manufacturing design

Can MES software significantly transform Additive Manufacturing design?

In the world of advanced manufacturing, the term MES to describe software based Manufacturing Execution Systems is already fairly common. However, it is only now beginning to be introduced to AM, leading us to coin a new “AMES” (Additive Manufacturing Execution Systems) acronym. This is occurring now because only recently did AM start to become a true batch and potentially even a mass manufacturing technology.

Major industrial software developers already provide several MES solution but only a few are able to adapt these solutions to the unique characteristics of the end-to-end 3D printing production cycle, integrating strictly digital elements such as quotation enginers all the way to ERP, CRM and even 3D file protecion features. Continue reading “Can MES software significantly transform Additive Manufacturing design?”

3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition

Dutch vessels

3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition

Keeping its vessels in top condition is a critical aspect of a naval force’s readiness, but to do so each part, little or big, needs full attention. Claire Apthorp looks at a project to scan the entire Dutch Navy in 3D.

The Royal Netherlands Navy contracts work for the maintenance of its vessels and submarines to Dutch organisation Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine. In addition to maintaining the vessels, Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine is responsible for creating new parts for the ships to replace damaged parts, and carrying out modifications to on-board components when required, from everything to the hull to weapons systems and engines.

In order to speed up its servicing, Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine turned to Artec 3D, a company that produces 3D scanners that allow maintenance personnel to reverse engineer parts for vessels that need to be replaced, for which the drawings or 3D CAD files are not accessible. Continue reading “3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition”