3D Systems metal AM to build naval warships

Following the Office of Naval that calls for GE’s support to manufacture parts for Ships, Aircraft, and other Critical Military Assets, it is the turn of (HII) Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division to manufacture new parts for its equipment. The shipbuilding company specifically aims at moving a great part of its current conventional manufacturing process to additive manufacturing; the goal being to improve production rates of certain parts while reducing waste.

The company has chosen metal 3D printing as manufacturing technique and will make use of 3D Systems’ ProX® DMP 320 on its site. The 3D metal printer will enable to manufacture replacement parts for castings as well as valves, housings and brackets – for future nuclear-powered warships.

This 3D printer facilitates layer-by-layer image data collection and analytics to help customers increase precision and productivity in their metal printing workflow. Its use is not dedicated to one sector. At the beginning of the year, Kallista, a designer and provider of luxury kitchen and bath products, won an award by manufacturing a sink faucet using the metal 3D printer.

However, it should be noted that this collaboration does not mark the first steps of 3D Systems’ technologies in the Navy. It’s been a decade that the company offers its expertise in this sector. Nevertheless, for the company, this particular collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding marks the culmination of joint R&D efforts to qualify metal additive manufacturing to build components for nuclear-powered naval vessels.

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