3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) announced its collaboration with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division to qualify metal additive manufacturing technologies to build naval warships. 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. 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.”
“Newport News Shipbuilding is leading the digital transformation to further revolutionize how shipbuilders build the next generation of warships,” said Charles Southall, vice president of engineering and design, Newport News Shipbuilding. “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.”