Future Trends

JHU-APL, US Navy Install 3D Printing System on USS Bataan

Additive manufacturing

JHU-APL, US Navy Install 3D Printing System on USS Bataan

The U.S. Navy’s USS Bataan Wasp-class amphibious assault ship was equipped with a hybrid metal 3D printer in October.

The 3D printer was installed by engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Naval Surface Force Atlantic and the Naval Sea Systems Command Technology Office. The machine, which prints 316L stainless steel, can perform the typical additive manufacturing processes associated with 3D printers but can also selectively remove materials to fit specifications.

The additive manufacturing system comprises a Haas TM-1 CNC mill with a Meltio 3D laser metal wire print head and a Markforged X7 polymer-based printer, JHU-APL said.

Scott Storms, a deputy program manager supporting the NAVSEA 05T Additive Manufacturing Research and Development program, said the 3D printing system will improve USS Bataan’s self-sufficiency by producing prototype and end-use parts onboard.

JHU-APL also developed a communication system that transmits NAVSEA-developed technical data packages from USS Bataan to sites on land. TDPs provide print files that engineers can use to create 3D-printed components.

The 3D printer installation on USS Bataan follows a similar activity in 2018 when JHU-APL equipped the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier with additive manufacturing tools.

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Category: Future Trends