Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division has partnered with 3D Systems to develop additive manufacturing technologies expected to accelerate the adoption of metal 3-D printing in the naval shipbuilding industry.
The joint effort is expected to support future qualification and certification programs necessary to implement this advanced manufacturing technology for the U.S. Navy and part of a technological transformation underway at Newport News called integrated Digital Shipbuilding (iDS), the company said in a statement Thursday.
As part of the joint development agreement, 3D Systems delivered and installed the ProX DMP 320 metal additive manufacturing system at Newport News. The machine is capable of making three-dimensional, marine-based, alloy parts for castings or other fabricated parts, such as valves, housings and brackets.
The partnership represents a 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.