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Feb 14, 2021

US Navy Research Lab engineers 3D print functional lightweight cylindrical antenna arrays

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, military

Engineers at the US Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) have deployed a 3D printer to fabricate optimized antenna components that could be key to advancing the US Navy’s radar monitoring capabilities.

Utilizing 3D printing, the engineers were able to create cylindrical arrays at a lower cost and with reduced lead times compared to those incurred using conventional specialized equipment. The resulting parts also proved to be significantly lighter than previous iterations, potentially lending them new end-use navigational or defense applications.

“3D printing is a way to produce rapid prototypes and get through multiple design iterations very quickly, with minimal cost,” said NRL electrical engineer Anna Stumme. “The light weight of the printed parts also allows us to take technology to new applications, where the heavy weight of solid metal parts used to restrict us.”

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