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WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Department of the Navy and members of the Congressional Maker Caucus made history on June 21, sending the digital file for a part designed by three Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to ultimately print on the International Space Station's 3D printer. This "virtual part delivery" marks the first time a Department of Defense-generated part has been transmitted for printing in space, and the first time a Sailor-designed, 3D printed operational solution has been shared with outside government agencies via digital data transfer.
The part, called the Hydra Clip or "Tru-Clip," was designed by Aviation Electronics Technician Ashley Figert, Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Jerrod Jenkins, and Lt. Casey Staidl in Dec 2016 and originally printed on an ABS thermoplastic polymer "3D printer" aboard the carrier. The Tru-Clip addresses a design issue with handheld radios, reinforcing the structure of radio antennas that tend to break while underway and saving the ship over $42,000 in radio repair costs.
Following brief remarks by Vice Adm. Phil Cullom (Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics) congressmen Mark Takano (D-CA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), the speakers jointly pressed a large red button labeled, "Make in Space," which initiated the upload of the file. Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lt. General Michael Dana (Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics), Mr. Donald McCormack (Executive Director, Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers), and Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space, Inc., also participated. The file transfer was graphically depicted in real time on a flat screen monitor, which confirmed delivery to the ISS within approximately two minutes. The part printed successfully on the ISS printer later that evening.
"This demonstration illustrates the power of the digital thread, and is the beginning of our future capability to manufacture mission-critical parts at the point of need--whether ashore, afloat, under the sea, or in space," said Vice Adm. Cullom. "This is one small step for Navy, and one giant leap for all of us."
"[This effort] demonstrates deckplate innovation and the creative power of our Navy team. We can, and will, rewrite the supply chain."
The event took place as part of the 2nd annual Capitol Hill Maker Faire, a series of panel discussions and exhibits that help inform Congress and the public about additive manufacturing concepts and technology developed by students, academia, government agencies, and the private sector, with the intent of bringing manufacturing back to America.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 27, 2015) Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class A. Figert uses a 3-D printer aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class B. Siens/Released)
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2016) U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, Deputy CNO for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, and members of congress, press the button that will send a supply part file to be printed in space, during the Capitol Hill Maker Faire in Washington, D.C. The fair showcased robotics, drones, 3D printing and printed art. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cyrus Roson/Released)
Image 3: Attached
IN SPACE (June 22, 2016) A 3D printer creates a supply part, designed by Sailors from the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), onboard the International Space Station. The digital file for the part was transferred to the space station during the Capitol Hill Maker Faire in Washington, D.C.
Image 4: Attached
Astronaut Jeff Williams, International Space Station Expedition 48 Commander, works on a pair of U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock.
Credit: NASA TV
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