3D Systems, one of the largest 3D printing companies in the world, announced yesterday its collaboration with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division to qualify the metal 3D printing technologies to be used to manufacture naval warships.
Currently, Newport News Shipbuilding is the only designer, manufacturer and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. This collaboration will help the Newport News Shipbuilding to transform the traditional manufacturing systems to additive manufacturing methods for enhanced production capability with higher accuracy of parts and reduced wastage. This will indirectly reduce the expenses incurred in shipbuilding processes making the process much more efficient.
The first phase of the collaboration involved the installation of a metal 3D printer at the Newport News Shipbuilding’s manufacturing plant. 3D Systems installed a ProX® DMP 320 metal 3D printer. The metal 3D printer will be used to manufacture marine-based alloy replacement parts for castings as well as valves, housings and brackets – for future nuclear-powered warships. To further enhance the part production, both the companies are already trying to develop newer additive manufacturing technologies in addition to using metal 3D printing.
3D Systems is involved in providing metal 3D printing solutions and expertise to U.S. Navy since decades. 3D printing is being used from aircraft parts to submersible components. The latest collaboration will focus on joint R&D activities to develop a standard metal additive manufacturing processes to build components for nuclear-powered naval vessels.
Speaking on the collaboration Kevin McAlea, executive vice president, general manager, metals and healthcare, 3D Systems said, “3D Systems is proud of our long-standing relationship with the U.S. Navy. Through this collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding, our 3D printing solution combined with our team’s expertise in metal 3D printing technology will redefine the supply chain for naval ship components – improving efficiencies and lowering total cost of operation.”
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According to Charles Southall, vice president of engineering and design, Newport News Shipbuilding Division, “Newport News Shipbuilding is leading the digital transformation to further revolutionize how shipbuilders build the next generation of warships. With the inclusion of the ProX DMP 320 into our manufacturing workflow, this marks the first metal 3D printer installed at a major U.S. Navy shipyard. With this disruptive technology, Newport News has the potential to reinvent shipbuilding.”
About Huntington Ingalls Industries
Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) is the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S. and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi are building ships for more than a century. HII employs nearly 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.
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