U.S. Army to Commission Giant Metal 3D Printer

June 16, 2021

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U.S. Army to Commission Giant Metal 3D Printer
U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, and its Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) plan to build (reportedly) the world’s largest metal 3D printer, for printing large parts for military ground vehicles. Called the Jointless Hull project, the effort is being coordinated and led by prime contractor Applied Science and Technology Research Organization (ASTRO) America, Bethesda, MD, which will work together with subcontractors Ingersoll Machine Tool, Siemens and Meld Manufacturing to manufacture the hull-scale machine.

While the ability to produce monolithic hulls is important, the new additive manufacturing (AM) machine also will have the capacity to produce much larger AM parts than currently possible.
“There are a lot of big, heavy metal parts within the Army inventory for which AM is not even an option simply because they don’t fit within the build envelop of the current machines available in industry,” says Joseph Kott, GVSC materials division advanced manufacturing branch chief. “This new machine will provide Rock Island Arsenal with an additive capability that doesn’t exist anywhere else, not only to produce parts for the Army but also across the DOD.”

Solar Atmospheres image
Strong and Ductile 3D Metal Printed Components
Since 3D printing builds to near net or finished dimensions, vacuum heat treating is an absolute necessity. Vacuum levels that approach 1 X 10-6 Torr produce clean and oxide free surface conditions that are metallurgically stable. Critical temperature control is also a must to avoid cracking and producing a strong and ductile part.

Siemens video
WATCH: AM for Turbine-Blade-Tip Repair, Replacement at Siemens Energy
Siemens Energy has developed and employs a digital repair chain using laser powder-bed fusion AM technology that enables repair of turbine blade tips as well as the addition of new features. Specifically, it is now possible, report company officials, to implement cooling structures in critical areas to prevent blade-tip failure.

The development of HybridTech has grown out of a research project, Change in Production Technology, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Using HybridTech, the company has manufactured the first blade sets, and conversion of the standard repair procedure to the HybridTech process is underway. Siemens Energy plans to apply the process to other components, and use it to upgrade new-component designs.

Avoid Flawed Builds
Additive manufacturing demands high-quality power to avoid defective builds. ABB has pioneered a scalable power quality solution designed specifically for the additive process. Join ABB's Additive Segment Leader Pat Gannon for a discussion on June 22nd @ 10:30AM ET during the 3DMP Experience and Tech Tour.
Register now

3D Metal Printing Experience
3D Metal Printing Educational Webinar Series Features Talks by NCDMM, Enerpac, Wabtec and More
Now in its sixth year, the 2021 3D Metal Printing Experience and Tech Tour returns as an online virtual webinar series, scheduled for June 22 and 24. This premier metal-AM event brings together industry experts, AM users and suppliers to learn about the latest developments in 3D metal printing.

Conference highlights include:  
  • Keynote: Process Standardization, Data Collection and Transference—Joe Veranese, vice president and CIO, National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM)
  • Keynote: Making the Business Case for Metal AM—Michael Rosplock, Enerpac
  • Design for AM—Dr. Tim Simpson, Penn State University
  • Panel Discussion—Working with Service Bureaus, moderated by Cullen Hilkene, CEO, 3Diligent Corp.
  • 3D Printed Parts in the Rail Industry, Brett Heher, lead mechanical engineer, Wabtec Corp.
Register for free now!

Industry News
Agile Space Industries Acquires Metal 3D Printing Service Bureau Tronix3D
Markforged Adds to Board
3D Systems Exiting Service-Bureau Business, Sells On-Demand Manufacturing Unit
ASTM Signs MOU with NSERC HI-AM Network
On-Demand Manufacturing Marketplace Xometry Files For $100 Million IPO
Desktop Metal Qualifies Type 4140 Steel for High-Volume AM
GE Aviation Breaks Ground for OH Mfg. Facility, with Full Operations by End of 2022
Wabtec Begins Operations at Neighborhood 91 AM Hub

Spring 2021
In This Issue
Identifying the Source of Pore Formation During Additive Manufacturing
Reduction of a power-velocity map proves important in identifying a boundary between an area of stable melting and a region where pores are formed.

What’s in Store for Additive Manufacturing as We Recover from COVID-19?
As manufacturers continue to navigate a new inflection point, we can expect AM to continue making an impact in three key ways: the rise of on-demand manufacturing networks; marrying software to hardware into true platforms, to seamlessly bring parts form design to production; and simplifying supply chains.

Coming in 3DMP's Summer 2021 Issue
  • AMUG Wrapup
  • 3D Printing of Superalloys
  • Metal-AM Semiconductor Applications
  • Case Studies: Metal 3D Printers in Action

Industry-Related Terms: Case, Center, Form, Hardware, LASER, Point, Surface
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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