U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division completed a fabricated model of the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) on Jan. 10, 2013. This is the first ship model to be created using a new 3D printer.
As a hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) provides emergency, on-site medical and surgical services for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or for use in disaster. Comfort is more advanced than traditional hospital on land.
The state-of-the-art 3D printer used by Carderock is one of four in the United States. It provides Carderock with the capability to deliver large, complex ship models. The 3D printed ship models require less assembly time and can be fabricated unattended, 24 hours a day.
(3D printed model USNS Comfort | Image credit: NSWC)
“3D printing technology is currently being used in industry to produce parts, structures and models for various applications,” said NSWC Carderock engineer Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez. “For more than a century, Carderock engineers have been at the forefront of technology in delivering ship models in order to build the Navy’s future fleet. This next generation technology provides Carderock unprecedented capability to deliver fabricated ship models faster and at a more affordable cost for the Navy.”
NSWC Carderock engineers and technicians upload computer-aided design (CAD) drawings of a ship model into the 3D printer. As the printing process begins an epoxy resin is exposed to ultraviolet light, changing its state to a solid. A wiper applies a coat of the liquid to a flat surface on the machine and the ultraviolet laser then traces the shape of the part to be constructed. Once solidified, the wiper continuously applies additional coats of epoxy until the ship model is completed.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
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