Huntington Ingalls Industries‘ (HII), Newport News Shipbuilding division is collaborating with 3D Systems to qualify metal additive manufacturing technologies to build naval warships and accelerate the adoption of metal 3-D printing in the naval shipbuilding industry.
Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines.
Through this collaboration, they will move portions of their manufacturing process from traditional methods to additive, anticipating enhanced production rates of high accuracy parts with reduced waste, and potential for significant cost savings over other traditional production processes.
The first milestone in this agreement was achieved with 3D Systems delivering and installing a ProX® DMP 320 3D metal printer at Newport News Shipbuilding’s site.
Newport News plans to use the ProX DMP 320, designed for precision metal 3D printing, to produce marine-based alloy replacement parts for castings as well as valves, housings and brackets – for future nuclear-powered warships.
(Learn More. The ProX DMP 320 is designed for high precision, high throughput direct metal printing and optimized for critical applications requiring complex, chemically-pure titanium, stainless steel or nickel super alloy parts. Courtesy of 3D Systems and YouTube)
With the ProX DMP 320 as the foundation, the companies are already developing new additive manufacturing technologies to further enhance part production.
3D Systems has contributed additive manufacturing expertise to the U.S. Navy for decades with 3D printing being used for everything from aircraft parts to submersible components.
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.
“3D Systems is proud of our long-standing relationship with the U.S. Navy,” said 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.”
“The ProX DMP 320 printer system, combined with our team’s expertise in metal 3-D printing technology, will bring new digitally enhanced geometries to Newport News Shipbuilding, enabling higher performing warship components and ultimately more efficient cost-effective parts delivery to the U.S. Navy.”
It is also part of a significant technological transformation underway at Newport News called integrated Digital Shipbuilding (iDS).
The partnership represents a significant step forward in the fabrication of components and material for future warships.
Compared to traditional manufacturing methods that involve the conversion of raw materials into a finished product through subtractive processes, such as cutting or grinding metal, additive manufacturing involves the layer-by-layer fabrication of raw materials into a finished product.
“One of our goals is to provide leadership to our supplier base that will help accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing within our industry, which may improve efficiencies and quality,” Southall added.
“We look forward to working with key technology leaders, such as 3D Systems, to help to break down technology adoption barriers and advance additive manufacturing in our industry and supply chain.”
Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry.
(Learn More. Courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries and YouTube. Posted on May 11, 2018)