Navy 3D Prints First Submersible Hull
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The video opens with people walking past the body of a 3D-printed submarine that is set up on a trailer in front of a building. Music plays in the background while text appears over the image:
You’re looking at a 3D printed hull for an optionally manned technology demonstrator (OMTD). This proof-of-concept vehicle is the navy’s largest 3d-printed asset. It was developed by the departments of energy and defense with support from academia and industry.
The video shows several individuals working in front of computers, with one man wearing glasses and looking at a computer simulation.
It’s the first of several on-demand and disposable vehicles the navy wants to print.
The video shows the 3D-printed submarine from several different angles.
The OMTD is 30 feet long, 4.5 feet in diameter, and is made up of 6 carbon fiber composite sections. It took just four weeks to complete at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.
The video shows individuals working on separate parts of the submarine, and then cuts to a shot of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
OMTD production costs were cut by 90% using the lab’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine.
The video shows a large 3D printer building a piece layer by layer.
The parts were printed in days, instead of months, saving the Navy time, money, and energy. The Navy plans to print a second version of the OMTD to test at its wave testing facilty in Maryland. Fleet-capable prototypes could be introduced as early as 2019.
The video returns to showing images of the final submarine, and shots of individuals working on the propeller.
Early stage R&D collaborations like this can help address challenges in energy and accelerate the impact on the global community.
Learn more at energy.gov/eere. The last shot includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory logo.