The US Navy has for the first time announced its plans to apply the distributed ledger to the additive manufacturing (known as 3D printing).

The pilot project is expected to be realised in summer 2017. The announced goal of the project is to strengthen the exchange of data during the manufacturing process of additive manufacturing. The trial will be conducted under the supervision of the Naval Innovation Advisory Council. During the pilot project blockchain will be implemented in order to create the ecosystem of the collective use of data that will expand to all sites of 3-D manufacturing.

Commenting on the project in his blog, lieutenant commander Jon McCarter called the application of blockchain in a bid to secure 3-D printing "a perfect match".

"When looking for a test bed for this technology, it quickly became clear that Naval Additive Manufacturing was a perfect match. The ability to secure and securely share data throughout the manufacturing process (from design, prototyping, testing, production, and ultimately disposal) is critical to Additive Manufacturing" he wrote.

According to McCarter, the use of blockchain will form the foundation for future advanced manufacturing initiatives. The report with the results of the pilot project is expected to be released in autumn 2017. Earlier the US Navy did not announce its plans to use blockchain in its projects.