DefenseMaritime IndustryMetal Additive Manufacturing

SPEE3D participates in NAVSEA’s SALVEX exercise

Deploying the XSPEE3D and SPEE3Dcell cold spray technologies to help 'save' a ship that will be destroyed at sea and towed back to port

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SPEE3D, an industrial metal additive manufacturing company, is participating in the Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) first-ever SALVEX exercise, which started on May 13, 2024, at the Naval Base Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. As part of the exercise, SPEE3D, in conjunction with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), is deploying the XSPEE3D and SPEE3Dcell Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) technologies to help ‘save’ a ship that will be destroyed at sea and towed back to port. Navy reservists will be trained to operate the XSPEED to print crucial metal parts on demand.

The US Navy’s goal at SALVEX is to validate AM technology to address maintenance operations that will improve ship material conditions and battle damage repair. XSPEE3D is an expeditionary solution that is uniquely positioned to achieve this result – offering a containerized, rugged, and easily deployable 3D printer that can print parts in remote locations and harsh conditions. XSPEE3D manufactures metal parts up to 1m x 0.7m in a matter of hours, from a variety of metals including aluminum, aluminum bronze, stainless steel, and copper.

SPEE3D participates in NAVSEA's SALVEX exercise - deploying the XSPEE3D and SPEE3Dcell cold spray technologies.
SPEE3D’s XSPEE3D.

In addition, the SPEE3Dcell post-processing and testing unit is a fully equipped shop, including a heat treatment furnace, CNC three-axis mill, tooling, and testing equipment. Unlike other AM solutions, the XSPEE3D and SPEE3Dcell do not require dangerous and expensive lasers or inert gasses, and no extensive prior expertise with AM technology is required to operate the machines.

“Ensuring the security of our nation requires technology that can successfully work in all environments – including at sea – and we’re excited to have SPEE3D join the SALVEX exercise to demonstrate their additive manufacturing capabilities for maritime repair,” said a spokesperson for the Navy. “Supply chain issues are prevalent, so being able to manufacture metal parts quickly and from anywhere is a huge issue that we’re excited to test and hopefully resolve.”

“SPEE3D is honored to be selected by the US Navy once again to demonstrate our proprietary cold-spray metal additive manufacturing technology to help solve some of their most pressing supply chain issues in the field,” said Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D. “The opportunity to participate in an exercise where a ship will be purposefully damaged as part of a naval exercise is novel, and we are optimistic that XSPEE3D will be able to print crucial metal parts to help repair the vessel quickly.”

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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