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frcma-navy-printFour active duty Navy service members want to make a difference with 3D printing, and they need your help to take it even further. They work to train sailors on 3D printing and other new technologies (we’ve certainly seen 3D printing in use in the military before), but they are also creating 3D printed military memorabilia for veterans. They have started a GoFundMe campaign in order to purchase additional printers, because the demand for the technology is so great.

The service members are with the FRCMA (Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic) Patuxent River in Maryland. It is one of seven Fleet Readiness Centers devoted to the maintenance of naval aircraft, and provides full-spectrum aircraft maintenance operations, maintaining high-performance tactical aircraft. Their vision is to focus on leveraging the full potential of their capabilities and skills, focusing on war fighting mission requirements, quality products and services for their customers, and cost-wise readiness. Its workforce is comprised of nearly 2,500 military, civil service, and contract personnel. Among other duties, they perform scheduled integrated maintenance inspection and repair, unscheduled emergency in-service repair, and structural and electronic system modification.

These particular service members have already been using 3D printing to innovate naval solutions. They work with a FabLab on their site to make the 3D prints, and they are also working on creating certification and training plans for 3D printing technology throughout the military.

3d-printed-navy-item-2Some of their chiefs of command recently asked for their help in creating a few 3D printed pieces to aid in a military retirement ceremony, and the feedback they received about the prints has been tremendous. There have been several requests from people in four different states asking for their assistance with other 3D printing needs. Unfortunately, they only operate the 3D printers on the side at work, so there isn’t enough time, or resources, to accommodate all of the requests they’ve received.

“We also do a lot of volunteer work with the local veterans’ home. I was talking to a few of the vets about 3D printing and they could not believe regular people have them at home,” FRCMA det Pax service member AT1(AW) Mike Pecota told 3DPrint.com.

Pecota and the other service members were talking about the 3D printing demand one day, and thought about getting a few LulzBot TAZ 6 3D printers outside of work, so they could accommodate all of the requests they were receiving for 3D prints. They also discussed making copies of everything they printed, and donating them to the veterans’ home, as well as the possibility of printing items once a month to help the veterans improve their way of life. A coworker happened to overhear the discussion and suggested they start a gofundme campaign to help. 3d-printed-navy-items
Their GoFundMe mission is clear: fund a campaign to design and create 3D printed military memorabilia for use in military retirement ceremonies, command displays, and to help decorate the local veterans’ home. They also intend to continue offering training sessions and innovative solutions to active duty members and retirees, because they have the training, skills, and background to assist others outside of their facility and in the greater community as well.
20161014_130713_resizedUsually when we hear about 3D printing changing the lives of veterans, it’s through the use of 3D printed orthotics and 3D printed prosthetics. So utilizing the technology to make 3D prints of military memorabilia, in order to make a positive impact on the lives of the veterans, is a really different, and really great, idea. Pecota says that the FRCMA det Pax service members will use the money raised from their gofundme campaign to purchase more printers that are capable of meeting the high 3D printing demand in their area. Discuss in the 3D Printing for Veterans forum at 3DPB.com.
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