A new partnership between Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, and Army Medical Material Development Activity is supporting the production of 3-D-printed swabs used for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
“Before the pandemic hit, Portsmouth’s Innovation Project (IPx) was working with Naval Information Warfare Center – Pacific to develop additive manufacturing of parts for use on submarines,” IPx Superintendent Joe Murphy said in a news release. “Through these partnerships, we were able to emulate the process of 3-D printing [nasopharyngeal test swabs] to assist in the response to this virus.”
The shipyard can produce up to 10,000 swabs a day. They will be sterilized according to federal guidelines and delivered to testing sites.
This project has “accelerated learning” on 3-D printing processes that will enhance the shipyard’s mission, said Capt. Daniel Ettlich, the commander.
“This experience will benefit Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for many years to come as we move forward in developing 3-D printed submarine parts,” Ettlich said.
Navy photo by Jim Cleveland