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The technology—which makes manufacturing more agile and wastes very little material—is already being used aboard the USS Essex, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship.
“The crew has printed everything from plastic syringes to oil tank caps, to the silhouettes of planes that are used on the mock-up of the flight deck to keep the flight deck organized,” Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
The Navy is still “several years away” from being able to print spare parts for ships and airplanes, but “that day will surely come,” he said.
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