The U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 3D-printed the Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator (OMTD) in just four weeks using the lab’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine. The final product is thirty feet long, four and a half feet in diameter and was built with six different carbon fiber composite sections. The end result might not be much to look at, but that’s kind of the point. The first 3D-printed submersible for potential U.S. Navy use could be used to “deploy logistics capabilities and sensors” and this manufacturing technique cuts traditional production costs by up to ninety percent. It’s still an early stage collaboration, but the potential for this technology to have meaningful applications for the men and women in our armed services is limitless.


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