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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hampton Roads’ largest employer to use 3D printing technology

The Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries will use a metal prototype created by 3D-printing on the USS Harry S. Truman next year.

According to the Navy’s news release, the metal part is a drain strainer orifice used to remove water from a steam line “while in use” and will be tested and evaluated on the nuclear aircraft carrier for one year.

It will be the first 3D printed metal part used for shipbuilding and was approved by the Naval Sea Systems Command, according to the Navy’s news release.

Otherwise known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a technological process that uses a computer operated printer to create three-dimensional objects, layer by layer, out of plastic or metal material, according to the 3D printing website.

In May, the 3D printing business, 3D Systems, announced its collaboration with the shipbuilding company and the Navy to install one of its metal 3D printers, ProX DMP 320, at the Newport News Shipbuilding division’s facilities, according to the 3D Systems news release.

The ProC DMP 320 will create parts such as valves, housings and brackets, including the DSO for the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier that will potentially replace castings and other parts, according to Newport News Shipbuilding.

“This is a watershed moment in our digital transformation, as well as a significant step forward in naval and marine engineering,” said Charles Southall, vice president of engineering and design at Newport News Shipbuilding. “We are committed to partnering with the Navy to ensure that collectively, we are investing in every opportunity to improve and advance the way we design and build great ships for the Navy.”

See the video below, courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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