Envisioned as a spiritual successor to the Manufacturing Knowledge and Education (MAKE) Lab that was previously in Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division’s building 60, a new maker space, the Advanced Manufacturing Prototyping (AMP) Lab, has been created in the Model Fabrication Facility at Building 9. An open house and ribbon cutting event with Carderock’s Commanding Officer Capt. Todd E. Hutchison was held on June 23, 2022.
Scott Ziv, a mechanical engineer in Carderock’s Additive Manufacturing Program Office, who has been coordinating the MAKE Lab since 2017, joined forces with Ryan Franke, a technician in Carderock’s Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing Branch to bring the AMP Lab to Building 9.
“The AMP Lab is the successor to the MAKE Lab, and has similar traits, but with new systems and in a new space,” Ziv said. “We want people to know that we are back, we are open and have all these new capabilities and that there is value in rapid development for research work.”
The MAKE lab was originally created in 2016 by Jonathan Hopkins, Carderock’s Additive Manufacturing Branch Head, as a space for education, to teach people about 3D printers and how to use them. However, over time, innovation has made them more easily accessible.
“Now that people know how to use 3D printers, and can affordably purchase them, the actual education side isn’t as necessary as it has been in the past,” Ziv said. “Therefore, the AMP Lab spun up as a kind of rebranding of the MAKE Lab, as less of an education tool, and more of a makerspace where people can go and have access to these systems without having to buy their own and maintain them.”
The collaboration meets the needs of everyone involved, as it gives Ziv and the AMP Lab a larger space to be used by those in need. Franke and his team are also able to show off other capabilities at the location.
“Bringing the AMP Lab to Building 9 was a win-win for us,” Franke said. “A lot of people don’t know about the capabilities at Building 9, where it is located or how to even get in. With bringing the AMP Lab here, we are hoping this opens the door to people realizing what Building 9 can do. After prototyping in the AMP Lab, customers can easily transfer from small scale prototyping to larger scale production within the same facility.”
Ziv and Franke joined forces as it made sense to the two of them to use their combined expertise to make this an all-in-one makerspace.
“Scott is in the research side, and I am in the more physical development side of the making and production of parts, so it made sense for us to team up and use our expertise and knowledge together,” Franke said. “The AMP Lab is an idea space, but we in building 9 can make your idea a reality — we take your concepts and make parts you need for your project, and we are already here, we are in the same building.”
Additionally, it became apparent to Ziv that transitioning the MAKE Lab to the AMP Lab made the most sense.
“Most things we’ve worked with the last couple of years are metals, but in the plastics world, polymer systems have become way more accessible, usable and their material properties have become better,” Ziv said. “The reason the additive manufacturing research and development group stood up the MAKE Lab was because we didn’t fully understand the technology at the time, but polymer 3D printing is being used for real things now, both in industry and on ships. Polymer systems are almost not really research anymore.”
In preparation for the June 23 open house, Ziv and Franke started hosting weekly, hour and a half long trainings, where they went over basic rules and expectations of the space and gave users hands-on experience printing parts.
“The MAKE Lab historically had about 400 people trained,” Ziv said. “We have about 20 people or so trained for the AMP Lab, and now that we have this new facility we hope to greatly increase that number.”
Once an individual has completed a training, they will be given the access codes to Building 9 including the AMP Lab, which will be open 24-hours a day.
To learn more about the AMP Lab and Building 9, join the TEAMS group with code: 5x5tafc. To sign up for AMP Lab trainings, visit: https://wiki.navsea.navy.mil/display/AMPLAB/AMP+Lab+Training+Signup.