Welcome to this weeks TDMB blog post on 3D printed submarines. Now, before I start, I have to say that this is the best 3D printing post that I have ever read, I know that this tech is fascinating in its own right but this post really surpassed my expectations of what this technology is capable off.
As some of you may know, China has recently been using 3D printing technology to build houses and apartments, I also recently put a post together on how we created a superbike using 3D Printing technology, moving on to today’s post though, we all know how awesome this technology is but the fact that we can now print submarines is something else.
3D Printed Submarines
For those of you not in the know about the world of 3D printing, this post really shines a light on what this amazing technology is capable off. It usually takes the Navy around five months to build even the smallest submarines, but by using 3D printing technology, we are now able to create these amazing machines in a much shorter timescale, and it’s cheaper too!
This means that we could, in theory, assemble a submersible hull in just a few weeks.
Quite an achievement eh? The US military are the only ones to using this technology at present, however, I am sure other world powers will soon catch on. The U.S. military’s first 3D-printed submarine was inspired by Seal Delivery Vehicles, small manoeuvrable machines able to be deployed into dangerous areas. Nevertheless, these 3D machines are far from small, 30ft long to be precise.
A traditional SEAL submarines can cost up to $800,000 apiece and take three to five months to manufacture. New 3D printing technology can now create six carbon-fiber composite sections of the hull in a month, at a cost of just $60,000. However, saving time, energy and money isn’t even the best bit!
One of the most interesting aspects for me is the other weaponry that can now be 3D printed. I mean, if we can build submarines then why not torpedoes, planes, guns, bodysuits? You only have to look at the costs to see how beneficial this technology could become.
The Navy must be one the largest 3D printer setups in existence and I bet 10 years ago they never thought they could create submarines via a 3D printer. This technology represents a massive leap forward, giving us the ability to manufacture goods on demand and cheaper than ever before; armed forces around the world will be able to save millions of pounds on production costs.
The most exciting military potential that 3D printing offers is that of instant fabrication. Say, for example, soldiers in the field are running low on ammunition, or a vehicle breaks down and needs replacement parts; in the near future, the soldiers will be able to simply print out the necessary axel or bullets, instantly.
The Navy’s fleet-ready prototypes could hit the water as soon as 2019.