Velo3D’s metal AM solution to produce parts for the US Navy

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc (BPMI) has selected a fully integrated metal additive manufacturing solution from Velo3D Inc to produce parts for the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

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The Sapphire XC large format printer, calibrated for stainless steel 415, will be operated by ATI at its new additive manufacturing facility outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this year, BPMI awarded a contract to ATI to support development of highly engineered part solutions for advanced manufacturing methods including metal additive manufacturing. The partners will use the printer to produce parts previously produced through casting, reducing lead times for mission critical parts, and streamlining their supply chain.

“BPMI and ATI’s progressive approach to 3D printing is extremely forward-thinking and this new, revolutionary facility will significantly augment the US Navy’s supply chain for maintenance, repair, and operations,” said Brad Kreger, CEO at Velo3D. “Both companies are early adopters of metal 3D printing and innovators in the manufacturing industry. We look forward to working with them as they support the US Navy’s fleet, including its aging vessels.”

The US Navy currently operates approximately 300 vessels, many of which were commissioned decades ago.

“Printers with larger build volumes and the ability to print with less support structures are ideal for US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program applications,” said Nathan Weiderspahn, BPMI executive manager, Industrial Base Management. “This additive manufacturing technology will greatly support our efforts in delivering new technology to the US Navy and helping maintain its fleet of ships.”

“ATI will be able to more easily additively produce complex parts with fewer support structures, at lower angles, and larger sizes than ever before,” said Joe Thompson, general manager of ATI Additive Manufacturing Products. “This enables us to broaden the scope of possible part designs for our defense and aerospace customers, enabling higher performance and better quality. The business opportunity represented by these previously unproduceable part designs is significant.”

BPMI’s new Sapphire XC printer is the first such printer from Velo3D calibrated for stainless steel 415, an alloy of iron, chromium, and nickel that provides good tensile strength and corrosion resistance at a range of temperatures.