Navy is moving positively in the direction of being able to manufacture specific spare parts onboard ships to facilitate repairs at sea.
The Centre for Innovation (CFI) recently took delivery of a Artec 3D handheld scanner, referred to as Eva. The ‘general-purpose’ white light scanner can be used to capture any object from the size of a shoe to that of a car with a point accuracy of up to 0.1mm. CFI is then able to make a quick, textured and accurate 3D model of the scanned object using a 3D printer.
These tools are part of a test program that will enable the Navy to make replacement parts and prototypes of equipment while at sea.
Commenting on the arrival of Eva, the manager of the FBE Centre for Innovation, Ms Christine Foce said “We’re very excited to have this tech as part of our growing capability.
“There are enormous opportunities for 3D scanning and additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing, for the fleet.”
Innovation is encouraged in all ships at all levels and Eva has already been put to the test by Leading Seaman Electronics Technician James Taylor who scanned a ceremonial cannon trigger assembly.
The CFI is a space for the workforce to feel empowered and inspired, providing an opportunity for the naval community to brainstorm, develop and prototype ideas, turning them into practical solutions.
The aim of the CFI is to create a failure-tolerant space, where experimentation and innovation are encouraged and celebrated, by modelling the workspace as a unique environment through use of colours and design. The collaborative office/workshop space can facilitate design sprints, rapid prototyping and collaboration. The centre encourages people to come in and tinker, experiment and make use of the great tools available.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Centre for Innovation opened at Fleet Base East, Sydney, in May 2017.
The Centre creates space where experimentation and innovation are encouraged and celebrated, and where Defence personnel can share creative ideas, experiment and fail safely. Since its inception, smaller innovation offices have been opened on board ships and other bases.