MELD Manufacturing Corporation, developer and provider of MELD® 3D printing machines for metal, has been awarded a contract from the US Navy following success in demonstration of printing metals and parts of interest.
The program supports the development of qualification data for MELD created parts which will guide naval use of MELD equipment. The contract includes the purchase of a MELD L3 model machine which will be housed in the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia. The program will further the Navy’s ability to support critical operations by delivering instructions and training for repair and printing of naval metal parts on site at the shipyard.
“We’ve received requests for a number of parts in a wide range of metal alloys from the Navy and shipbuilders that are not able to be printed with any other technology. The range of need expressed to us really highlights the value of a MELD machine, because unlike other metal printers, MELD can print metals the Navy truly needs at a size that is not otherwise possible,” said Dr. Chase Cox, Director of Technology.
The program will demonstrate repair of legacy and obsolete parts as well as the ability to print new parts critical to the modernization of the Navy’s fleet. MELD’s unique offer of both repair and printing helps overcome long lead times for forged and cast products. The L3 machine will provide the Navy with flexibility to use multiple materials and preserves the ability to create and repair parts with newly designed alloys.
The current contract builds on other naval investments, including those by the National Shipbuilding Research Program for “Scaling Up 3D Printed Steel Castings”. “MELD solves the global problem of long lead times for forged and cast metal products and provides large scale components in all metals,” said CEO Nanci Hardwick.