Nanoe is partnering with the Royal Netherlands Navy to explore the possibilities of equipping LPD Ships with Zetamix systems – to enable the production of metal and ceramic parts on site.
Founded by three engineers in 2008, Nanoe is a French company that specializes in the elaboration and production of highly innovative materials. They produce high-quality ceramic powder for cutting-edge industries such as aerospace and medical fields. In 2018, as a result of their knowledge and experience in the ceramics field, they launched Zetamix – one of the first accessible ceramic and metal filaments.
The Royal Netherlands Navy has acquired one Zetamix system for evaluation and testing purposes. The goal is not only to evaluate part quality, accuracy, and strength, but also to look for what is needed in order to implement the technology on board a ship, with the necessary certification.
“Printing metal parts directly on board would be a significant progress as it would help the Navy in increasing combat readiness and in reducing the logistical footprint,“ said Max Nijpels, AM specialist for the Royal Netherland Navy.
Zetamix filaments are compatible with FFF 3D printers, and enable the shortening of manufacturing times, and the reduction of production costs of ceramic and metal parts. By adopting the technology, the Navy intends to liberate itself from the constraints of outsourcing, and increase its flexibility and autonomy.
The Royal Netherlands Navy is not the first navy to bring additive manufacturing on board its ships in order to solve supply chain challenges. Back in July, the USS Essex (LHD 2) became the first US Naval vessel to have a 3D printer installed on board (a Xerox ElemX printer). The installation formed part of the US Navy’s strategy of using additive manufacturing to increase operational readiness for the fleet.