Military Review

In India, they told how 3D printing solved the problems of the country's Navy with the replacement of equipment

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India is confidently following the path of introducing high technology in the military industry. Now it is the turn to use 3D printing for the needs of the Indian Navy.


The Indian Navy has entered into an agreement with a Think3D service bureau on the use of 3D printing technology in the manufacture of spare parts for equipment used on ships. At one time, the naval command experienced very big problems with organizing the supply of spare parts, since the Indian fleet used old imported equipment and it was always difficult to find parts for it.

Since most of the machinery used on Indian ships was shipped from other countries, and production could have already been stopped there, if necessary, the replacement of any component of the Indian fleet incurred very high financial costs. Many ships were idle at the bases and could not be operated due to the fact that the Indian Navy could not find components to replace certain equipment.

Now, thanks to 3D printing technology, spare parts for the equipment of Indian ships can be produced independently. As an example, Think3D cites the situation with the replacement of the impellers of centrifugal pumps, which could be replaced using 3D printing. At one time, the impeller failure became for the Indian fleet a real problem, which was exacerbated by the fact that impellers fail quite often.

On each ship there are several pumps and impellers, respectively, and constant breakdowns made it difficult to operate the Indian Navy ships and perform the tasks assigned to them. To produce a new impeller often required at least three months, and if you add here the waiting time, the conclusion of a supply contract, then even more. 3D printing, in turn, allowed to reduce organizational, time and financial costs and significantly accelerate the process of production and replacement of impellers.

Now the “flagship” of 3D printing for the Indian Navy is Think3D, founded in 2014. It offers 3D printing, design, scanning, and mass production services, and has a $ 3 million 6D printer for medical equipment. The printer is located in the AP MedTech Zone, a medical equipment manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.

In India, they told how 3D printing solved the problems of the country's Navy with the replacement of equipment

After receiving an order from the Indian Navy, Think3D specialists visited warships to get acquainted with the problem and collected information about the impellers used on them, including the properties of the materials. The first step was a 3D scan of the impeller using an EinScan Pro + 3D scanner. Then, using ANSYS software, the bureau specialists determined the specifics of the further 3D printing process and found out what materials should be used.

The next step was to check the suitability of materials such as nylon composites, glass-filled nylon, PA12, plastics. Materials were required to possess damping properties. In addition, the part had to gain elasticity sufficient to withstand constant vibrations. Therefore, the possibility of using various materials with high fragility was excluded. What material the organization ultimately chose is still unknown, since the Think3D decided to keep this information secret.


Using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, an impeller with the desired properties was printed. Then the part was subjected to further processing and was tested on the ship, demonstrating high performance. As a result, the entire process of creating the part, which previously took at least 3 months, took just 2 days.

The manufacturing cost of the component turned out to be 40% lower than the amount that would have been spent if the impeller was created in the traditional way. Last but not least, the impeller made using 3D printing turned out to be 8 times lighter than the traditional one - if the latter weighs 8-9 kg, the Think3D product weighs only 1 kg.

The Indian Navy and Think3D are currently considering installing a 3D printer on board the ship. Such a solution will ensure the need for spare parts in the event that it arises while the ship is on the high seas. If before installation of parts it would be necessary to deliver the vessel to the port or, in extreme cases, deliver the parts with aviation, then after installing the printer on board production will be possible in open swimming conditions.
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  1. Aaron Zawi
    Aaron Zawi April 9 2020 10: 37 New
    +4
    Yes, the technology is very promising. About six months ago, I came across becoming in Hebrew that already today up to 30% of spare parts for our Air Force aircraft are manufactured using 3D printing.
    1. kenig1
      kenig1 April 9 2020 12: 28 New
      0
      But in Russia there is Skolkovo. laughing
      1. Sergey S.
        Sergey S. April 10 2020 00: 49 New
        0
        Quote: kenig1
        But in Russia there is Skolkovo.

        Russia is not only Skolkovo, but rather not Skolkovo at all.

        The topic is important and necessary.
        the only thing is still expensive, and not always possible.
        Particularly durable parts cannot be made only with 3D printing.
        Heavy parts also can’t be made. The combat campaign will be shorter than the production time.
        But pump wheels, thin-walled housings, parts with internal cavities are a reality.

        By the way, the equipment is not heavy, the dimensions are comparable to the dimensions of the parts.
        The problem is different.
        If repair production - working drawings are needed, moreover, in 3D-design.
        Manufacturers may not do this. Rather, they try not to give.

        And in many cases, measurement of parts will be required - Laser measuring machine in size even larger ...

        And it is very expensive.
        Therefore, for the manufacture of rockets and aircraft - is used. But for the pump wheel of the boat is not very much believed.
  2. Ros 56
    Ros 56 April 9 2020 10: 41 New
    +2
    Good deal, can the ships start printing right away? laughing
  3. Pavel57
    Pavel57 April 9 2020 10: 47 New
    0
    On the ship now you need to have a full-time designer and full-time technologist.
    1. Cowbra
      Cowbra April 9 2020 11: 36 New
      +1
      A place for a healthy fool, this is not a household printer, but a factory one, and a supply of consumables. Nude Nude. Not to mention the fact that throwing 6 lam on each boat to print a disk once a year - it will not be cheaper at all.
      In short - make a fool pray to God, he will dance to you
  4. alekc75
    alekc75 April 9 2020 10: 53 New
    0
    and the supply of all components will also be taken with them on the ship ????
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh April 9 2020 11: 32 New
      -1
      Which components? You must have 1) a printer 2) a scanner (or drawings of already scanned parts) 3) powder for printing.
      1. APASUS
        APASUS April 9 2020 12: 11 New
        0
        Quote: voyaka uh
        Which components? You must have 1) a printer 2) a scanner (or drawings of already scanned parts) 3) powder for printing.

        What about the pitching or deformation of the body during a wave?
        1. Cowbra
          Cowbra April 9 2020 12: 56 New
          -1
          It will be a new design! Marine disk - with waves on the surface!
          Quote: voyaka uh
          3) powder for printing.

          Chukchi, as always, is not a reader, he is here at work. And he skipped a couple of paragraphs of the article about “choosing the material”. Besides. to scratch your tongue - you do not need to understand the differences in household and industrial 3D printers laughing
        2. voyaka uh
          voyaka uh April 9 2020 13: 35 New
          0
          I did not write about what "they will do." I write about what is already there.
          3D printers are already installed on US aircraft carriers and are being printed
          various spare parts. There were articles about this.
          Apparently, the pitching does not interfere. smile
          1. Cowbra
            Cowbra April 9 2020 16: 07 New
            -1
            Quote: voyaka uh
            Apparently, the pitching does not interfere.

            There, like the Indians, the main thing is to hold the saw tighter. However, on the aircraft carrier, firstly, there will definitely be less pitching, and secondly, there you can install a stable platform for the printer
  5. Free wind
    Free wind April 9 2020 11: 17 New
    0
    It is interesting in the photo of the latter the old brass impeller was printed, judging by the appearance from the duralumin. It is interesting that the pump pumps, if fuel or fresh water will go. And if sea water, then the pump and for a month is not enough. aluminum is not friendly with seawater. Judging by the tracks. on the old impeller there the bearings in the pump casing are ground. They will put a printer on the ship, while on the campaign you can print weapons, why should the printer stand idle. And it’s possible to rivet the monuments, the order went to the port, the order was received on the way back, the customer was given the order, the Tugriks received it. You can spank from old plastic bottles. only a meat grinder is needed. Not a plowed field, Damn they forgot their own blind men in the Ganges drown, oh, covered the business with a copper basin.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh April 9 2020 11: 36 New
      +1
      "in the campaign you can print weapons," ///
      ---
      Americans are going to do so. Print both the shells of bombs and missiles directly on aircraft carriers. And collect on a hike.
      Spare parts for aircraft are already printed on board.
  6. exo
    exo April 9 2020 11: 26 New
    +3
    But what about copyright and patents? Of course, you can ignore it. Well, only then this manufacturer is unlikely to sell anything. Again, if the spare part is not original, for example, in aviation, and no one has certified and tested it in the proper amount, the consequences can be sad.
  7. grandfather_Kostya
    grandfather_Kostya April 9 2020 12: 03 New
    +1
    Last but not least, the impeller made using 3D printing turned out to be 8 times lighter than the traditional one - if the latter weighs 8-9 kg, then the Think3D product weighs only 1 kg.

    They will start to print everything in a row - they will violate the alignment and lower seaworthiness. Here you have to think seven times with a pint.
    1. Pavel57
      Pavel57 April 9 2020 12: 08 New
      +1
      So you still need to take the meter on board - calculation in the ANSYS program.
  8. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 April 9 2020 12: 19 New
    0
    What's so right on every ship will have its own repair shop with a 3D printer?
  9. magadan72
    magadan72 April 9 2020 12: 35 New
    0
    And we are not enthusiastic about 3D technology. We ordered a reverse handle on the JONSON 30 outboard motor (the original one was plastic) - after three reverses it broke ... exactly like that in the middle ... The work was very expensive ... it failed.
  10. Peter is not the first
    Peter is not the first April 9 2020 13: 04 New
    0
    And is 40% cheaper and 8 times lighter? What is wrong here. Most likely, the material is completely different from the source, and therefore the resource of this part is scanty, only in order to reach the nearest port.
    1. Sergey S.
      Sergey S. April 10 2020 00: 54 New
      0
      Quote: Peter is not the first
      And is 40% cheaper and 8 times lighter? What is wrong here. Most likely, the material is completely different from the source, and therefore the resource of this part is scanty, only in order to reach the nearest port.

      The data was provided by enthusiastic hives.
      Which either have never done anything like this, or have never been responsible for the final result.
  11. 23424636
    23424636 April 9 2020 13: 12 New
    +1
    a very funny article, especially in terms of what material was used for the manufacture, remained a mystery. Centrifugal pumps devour the material concretely and wanted to see what would happen to their sprayed material after a couple of months of exploitation of the aggressive medium among abrasives. . 3D printing is suitable for the manufacture of molds for molding and subsequent casting from materials already tested and having a metal structure for investment casting or burning, it is cheap and fast and making parts on a 3D printer is insanely expensive and not practical.
  12. tuts
    tuts April 9 2020 17: 07 New
    0
    change steel to plastic, well this
  13. TermNachTer
    TermNachTer April 10 2020 11: 05 New
    0
    Given the hodgepodge that the Indian Navy and the Air Force have in their composition, the topic is more than relevant.