By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lindsay A. Preston, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
A new piece of equipment created with a 3-D printer aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is saving the Navy thousands of dollars.
The “Tru Clip,” a small figure-eight shaped piece of plastic, designed and created by Truman’s AIMD department, to replace the clasp on the backs of hydras that are used to secure adaptors.
“When the clasp on the backs of hydras crack or break they become unusable,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Ashley Figert. “It cost $615 to replace the clasp. The Tru Clip cost only 6 cents to make and I distribute about 30 Tru Clips to the hydra shop a day.”
According to Lt. j.g. Casey Staidl, IM-4 division officer, this new invention will save the Navy $4,500 a month and has the potential be used on other ships.
“A meeting was held last week through the Navy additive manufacture executive steering committee at the Pentagon to request funding to make the Tru Clip a fleetwide implementation,” said Staidl. “It was used as a prime example to support the expansion of using fabrication laboratories on all carriers.”
Truman received a 3-D printer prior to deployment to test its practical application for the fleet.
Chief Aviation Technician Jerrod Jenkins said the creation of the Tru Clip is another example of how this technology can help Sailors accomplish their daily tasks.
“Overall it allows Sailors on board to solve their own problems with the limited resources we have while at sea,” said Jenkins. “As of now we can’t print plastic for aircraft parts or installed shipboard systems, but we are moving in the right direction—this is just the beginning.”
The Tru Clip comes in four colors: silver, purple, lime green and hot pink. The bright colors are for Sailors with hydras who work on the flight deck.
“If the Tru Clip comes off the hydra, it is less of a foreign object damage hazard because it is easy to spot,” said Figert.
Figert said the piece was initially created to help one Sailor and was then dispersed throughout the ship to test the effectiveness of the product. Approximately 150 Tru Clips have been distributed to Sailors aboard Truman.