US Navy and ORNL Develop Military’s First 3D-Printed Submarine Hull

US Navy and ORNL Develop Military’s First 3D-Printed Submarine Hull

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Planes, automobiles, and…submarines? Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) just made a big splash with its latest application of 3D printing. Through a partnership with the Navy’s Disruptive Technology Lab, the team at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) created the military’s first 3D-printed submersible hull.

Building a 3D-Printed Submersible ORNL's BAAM machine reduced hull production costs by 90% and shortened production costs to a matter of days.

The team needed to create a 30-foot proof-of-concept hull out of carbon fiber composite material. With just four weeks to get the job done, the Navy didn’t hesitate to get their feet wet—they dove right into learning about Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM). The new technology deep-dive at the MDF lasted about a week. By week two they were printing their design. The rapid turnaround and round-the-clock printing of BAAM allowed the team to assemble the six pieces of the hull during the third week.

The cost of a traditional hull ranges from $600,000 to $800,000 and typically takes 3-5 months to manufacture. Using BAAM reduced hull production costs by 90% and shortened production time to a matter of days—giving the Navy the opportunity to create “on demand” vehicles while also saving time, money, and energy.

source: https://3dprint.com/181795/navy-ornl-3d-printed-sub-hull/ 

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