A small unveiling ceremony for a brand new Markforged Metal X 3D printer was held at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering on Friday, November 20th. The printer was purchased by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) for educational and research purposes and is part of a three-year joint-use agreement that will allow students and faculty to fabricate custom small metal parts for use in research and senior design projects. Navy personnel will also have the ability to manufacture replacement parts with it, especially those that usually require a shop on the mainland to produce. This is all part of a partnership with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY and IMF) that began in 2018 and continues to grow and provide more opportunities for engineering students.
The college plans to get maximum use out of this collaboration by running the printer 24/7. A bonus feature of the new printer is the ability for students and Navy personnel to submit (unclassified) parts to the printer via the Internet, thereby streamlining the process and reducing the number of necessary trips to campus.
The ceremony also afforded the opportunity for both parties to discuss even more collaborations between the college and the shipyard, particularly with regard to the issue of parts-testing. At present, some parts need to be sent to the mainland to test their durability before they are put to use. However, the college does have some ability to do parts-testing here, and that was discussed during the ceremony.
The ceremony was spearheaded by Adjunct Professor Marvin Young and led by Technician Lewis Moore. Representing PHNSY and IMF were:
- Eric Petran, Office of Research and Technology Applications Manager
- Commander Wendel Penetrante, Production Resources Officer
- Kaipo Crowell, Nuclear Engineering and Planning Manager