Are you excited about the Top Gun sequel? Top Gun vaulted the aircraft carrier and the Navy into public consciousness. There are some schools of thought out there that even the idea of an aircraft carrier may be obsolete on today’s battlefield, but perhaps 3D printing can make these “floating cities” more flexible and efficient. 3D printing on aircraft carriers makes a world of sense, taking advantage of so many of the competitive advantages of the technology. Much like we’ve talked about with places like the space station, an aircraft carrier is a mobile location with a desire to decrease the need for carrying spare parts. For every part you can leave behind in theory that’s one more pound of food, bomb or person you can carry.
Next year’s military budget has strong support for 3D printing. Of course security is a big concern though, you wouldn’t want STL files for bomb parts finding their way onto the dark web. The Navy has a solution for that too in that they’re now working with blockchain in 3D printing files , the same security for Bitcoin, to secure the technology.
Maybe a 3D printer sees a role in the upcoming movie like some of the other Hollwood uses we’ve discussed, maybe it doesn’t, but in the words of Maverick, for 3D printing the Navy is, “a target-rich environment”.