U.S. Army to Commission Giant Metal 3D PrinterJune 3, 2021
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, and its Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) plans 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.
The 3D metal printer, expected to take 14 months to complete and which will be installed at Rock Island (IL) Arsenal--Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, will have the capability to print parts to 30 ft. long, 20 ft. wide and 12 ft. tall.
“Readiness is one of the main drivers and benefits that will be realized out of this effort as the tool will be capable of supporting sustainment activities on a wide range of parts and in time frames that will improve readiness,” says GVSC additive manufacturing (AM) expert Dr. Aaron LaLonde. “As use of the tool’s capabilities advance, additional advancements will be realized through enabling innovative design concepts that have the potential to result in performance improvements of parts, components, systems and vehicles.”
“We’re looking to leverage (AM) technology’s capability to more efficiently manufacture parts, reduce weight, lower costs, and improve long-term sustainment efforts, all to improve readiness,” adds Brandon Pender, GVSC associate director for the materials division. “GVSC remains at the forefront of support to Army readiness through our aggressive pursuit of advanced manufacturing capability.”