The flagship of the US Navy's Carrier Strike Group 8, the USS Harry S. Truman, is cutting costs.
It has nothing to do with sequestration or budget cuts, but instead a new way to make radio clasps with 3d printing that's saving the Navy hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The crewmen aboard the Strike Group's lead ship had been experiencing an all too common problem when the clasps that held their handheld radios to their clothing would break, and the replacements weren't cheap. Each one was $650, according to Stars and Stripes.
So the team managing the crew's onboard 3d printers were asked to come up with an innovative way to solve the problem. Now they have workable clasps that are 3d printed on-demand for 6 cents per piece.
“It doesn’t look pretty, it’s not a real sexy innovation, but that alone has saved us a ton of money,” Lt. J.G. Casey Staidl, the man in charge of 3d printing aboard Truman said. “In the past 2 ½ years, Truman has spent $146,000 just on these pigtail attachments alone.”
The pigtails Lt. Staidl is referring to are figure-8 shaped clasps which have been nicknamed TruClip, and in honor of the White House's National Week of Making which begins on Friday, the International Space Station - which has experience with 3d printing - will be printing the TruClip in space.