Additive Manufacturing Strategies

DON COOL Hub Allows Navy & Marines to Up Their Skill Sets with 3D Printing

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cool-2With the wide range of 3D printing innovations being introduced on a continual basis, it’s possible—but doubtful—you could have missed out on all that’s being put to use by the Navy today. From the advent of on-demand 3D printing to sailors creating highly functional 3D printed components for use at sea, it’s clear that the Navy is more than interested in this technology that’s just seeping into the mainstream—they are totally cool with it.

This couldn’t be demonstrated more literally than in one of their newest programs. In use now, DON COOL is a new hub for both the Navy and Marines. Web-based and centralized, it allows for a wide range of information to be put together from other sources and different tiers (federal, state, and local) regarding:

  • Certifications
  • Licenses
  • Apprenticeships
  • Growth opportunities

rexAll of these are related to corresponding occupations by both the Navy and Marines, according to Keith Boring, the Director of the US Navy’s Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL). And what’s really exciting is that the organization is using the Zeus 3D printer in their latest endeavors, a machine we’ve been following since its inception.

As personnel work to get new licenses that match their skill sets in the military, whether Navy or Marines, they are able to use the DON COOL system, provided out of the Navy COOL Program Office, which is situated on an Air Force base populated by 1,000 sailors. And while many may think of the military as rigid and operating in a back to basics format, they are actually making great strides not just to see that their Navy and Marine Enlisted (Active and Reserves) are able to learn about new technology, but also that they further their careers while creating new products for life at sea.cool

 “With the help of the trusty AIO Zeus, we’ve turned a 2D sign into a 3D eye-catcher,” says Boring. “Our AIO Zeus is giving the Navy COOL program a professional appearance, and our employees happy.  And as we all know, a happy Sailor is a productive Sailor.”

zombieAnd while we’ve seen numerous parts created by sailors in the past, here in the COOL program, you can see that those in the Navy and Marines are having some fun too, from creating 3D printed busts of their entire shop staff to a steam-punk T. Rex, a zombie candy dispenser just in time for Halloween, and even a collection of 3D printed Buddhas.

 

Some of the designs are quite complex, but what really sets them apart is the level of finishing that was obviously involved. This new program will allow these creative sailors to have a marketable skill set in the future as well as one that they can put to use now in their current jobs. Discuss in the DON COOL forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: AIO Robotics / Images: Keith Boring via AIO Robotics]

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