3D Systems has announced its collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) to qualify its metal additive manufacturing technologies to build the next generation of US naval warships.
Huntington Ingalls Industries company, NNS is the sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines.
The first milestone in the agreement was achieved with 3D Systems delivering and installing a ProX DMP 320 3D metal printer at NNS’s site in Virginia, with the aim 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.
“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,” said NNS engineering and design VP Charles Southall.
Adding that the collaboration has the “potential to reinvent shipbuilding”.
“Newport News Shipbuilding is leading the digital transformation to further revolutionise how shipbuilders build the next generation of warships,” Southall concluded.
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 marks the culmination of joint R&D efforts to qualify metal additive manufacturing to build components for nuclear-powered naval vessels.