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Naval Group and Prodways place a 3D printer aboard French Navy vessel

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From February 26 to July 20, 2018, Naval Group and its partner AvenAo Prodways Group are experimenting with the French Navy an embedded additive manufacturing process. A 3D printer was made available to the crew of the Projection and Command Building (BPC) Diksmuide for the “Jeanne d’Arc” * mission, as part of the Operations Maintenance Engineering (MCO) activities of the PCBs. The goal is to better understand the needs of the board and to experiment with remote 3D printing of operational equipment.

Naval Group and its partner AvenAo Prodways Group provided training to the crew in charge of operating the 3D printer on board. This training includes the use of a computer-aided design tool (CAD) that will allow the board to design and then achieve parts independently using the 3D printer. The sailors in charge of part design and of running the 3D printer will assess the crew’s needs and directly produce the parts in catalog. Naval Group’s teams provide a technical assistance mission, whether on board when the vessel is on the dock or through online assistance.

The experience of an exchange of technical data (expression of need and associated numerical model) to realize a remote part printing will also be attempted. An expression of need will be issued by the crew and transmitted to Naval Group by data link to the sea. Naval Group and Avenao Prodways Group will design part in CAD according to this data and define the programming parameters of the machine. These parameters will then be transmitted to the crew for manufacturing on board.

* The “Jeanne d’Arc” mission, or Naval Officers Application School Group (GEAOM), is an annual operation of the French Navy to train in real-life the student officers from the Naval Academy. Naval Group designs, builds and maintains submarines and surface ships. It also provides services for shipyards and naval bases. Finally, the group offers a wide range of solutions in marine renewable energies. Attentive to the challenges of corporate social responsibility, Naval Group is a member of the United Nations Global Compact. The group has a turnover of 3.19 billion euros and has 12,779 employees (2016 figures).

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