The Brooklyn Navy Yard And 3D Printing

The Brooklyn Navy Yard And 3D Printing
[Source: Untapped NY / courtesy Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation]

Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi discuss 3D printing activity and opportunity at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Brooklyn, NY has a large design community and the Brooklyn Navy Yard is also a major business complex with a large concentration of designers, artisan fabricators, and manufacturers. The Yard sits on almost 300 acres and is now the home to 450 businesses, employing more than 11,000 people and generating $2.5 billion in economic activity. 

A Storied History 

The Yard has a storied history. Established in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard served as America’s premier naval shipbuilding facility for 165 years and launched America’s mightiest warships, including the USS Monitor, the USS Arizona, and the USS Missouri. Peak activity occurred during World War II when some 70,000 people worked at the Yard. The Yard was in continuous operation until 1966 when it was decommissioned and then sold to the City of New York. Today, the spirit of innovation again abounds on the 300-acre site, where business is booming, employment is soaring, and the Yard is undergoing its largest expansion since WWII.

The Yard has a large collection of existing and potential 3D printing users and designers, including those working in lightingfurnitureapparel, and shoes.

The Research and Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature
  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business
  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process
  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.


On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for companies with revenue below $50MM and, startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in payroll tax cash rebates.

Made at the Yard

You can now find food, beverage, fashion, textiles, woodworking, metal fabrication, and AI all “Made at the Yard.” The Yard can even be seen by the public, from native Brooklyn food to a peak at modern manufacturing in action. A true urban center, a city amidst a renaissance with a plethora of 3D printing opportunities.

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