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.