The US Navy has installed its first Phillips Additive Hybrid metal 3D printing solution powered by Meltio and Haas onboard the USS Bataan ship.
Through its US distributor Phillips Corporation, Meltio was able to close its first contract with the US Navy that will allow the crew of the Bataan to manufacture and repair parts directly onboard the vessel.
The US Navy says that the introduction of additive manufacturing into naval operations will help support readiness and self-sufficiency, while helping to overcome both obsolescence issues for ships and systems that have service lives measured in decades.
The system onboard the USS Bataan prints 316L stainless steel, a prevalent material in US Navy ship systems. While stainless steel additive manufacturing onboard naval ships is new, it also represents an advancement in providing sailors with industrial-level manufacturing capabilities to print individual parts for systems that previously have not been readily available without procuring the entire system at a significantly greater cost.
The Phillips Additive Hybrid system uses a Meltio wire-based laser metal deposition head on a Haas TM-1 computer numerical control mill. The Haas TM-1 platform has been proven to operate reliably in aboard several operational aircraft carriers, with this integration providing both an additive and subtractive manufacturing capability within the same system.
Meltio CEO Ángel Llavero, said that the announcement comes after the ‘consequence of years of effort and a great vision that we had at Meltio’.
“We are sure that this is the first step in a long way that we will have in this industrial sector of the navy with this and other applications,” he said.
Phillips Corporation, Hybrid Division GM Brian Kristaponis added that the system is an “optimal fit” for the US Navy. “They are leveraging this exciting new technology to improve self-sufficiency for deployed ships and their crews.”
Bataan, a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, carries more than 2,500 Sailors and Marines when fully embarked, and is the fifth ship of the Navy’s Wasp-class ships. She was commissioned in 1997 and is the second U.S. Navy warship to bear the name Bataan.