3D Systems partners with Huntington Ingalls on shipbuilding by metal Additive Manufacturing
May 10, 2018
3D Systems, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, is to collaborate with shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virginia, USA, on the qualification of metal Additive Manufacturing technologies for the construction of naval warships. Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole designer, builder and refueler of US Navy Aircraft carriers and one of two providers of US Navy submarines.
Under this collaboration, the shipbuilder stated that it will move portions of its manufacturing process from traditional methods to Additive Manufacturing, and sees the potential for enhanced production rates of high-accuracy parts, reduced material waste and significant cost savings.
As the first step in the collaboration, 3D Systems has delivered and installed one of its ProX® DMP 320 metal Additive Manufacturing systems, designed for precision manufacturing, at Newport News Shipbuilding’s site. Newport News reportedly plans to use the ProX DMP 320 to produce marine-based alloy replacement parts for castings as well as valves, housings and brackets for future nuclear-powered warships. The companies reported that they are also developing new AM technologies to further enhance part production.
3D Systems has been contributing its knowledge in Additive Manufacturing to the US Navy for decades, with AM being used for a number of applications, from aircraft parts to submersible components. This particular collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding marks the culmination of longstanding joint R&D efforts to qualify metal AM for the production of components for nuclear-powered naval vessels.
“3D Systems is proud of our long-standing relationship with the US Navy,” stated Kevin McAlea, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Metals and Healthcare, 3D Systems. “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.”
Charles Southall, Vice President of Engineering and Design at Newport News Shipbuilding, added, “Newport News Shipbuilding is leading the digital transformation to further revolutionise 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 US Navy shipyard. With this disruptive technology, Newport News has the potential to reinvent shipbuilding.”