3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) has recently 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.