Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Additive Manufacturing for Shipbuilding Applications

The use of AM in ship construction will save acquisition costs on several ship classes. Ingalls photo


For Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls), the Integrated Project Team (IPT) will assess and demonstrate the use of AM during ship construction activities, quantify the expected benefits, and provide a recommended path toward implementation. For General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB), the IPT will develop and demonstrate a process map that will allow the rapid production of tools and fixtures using AM.


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is rapidly becoming a versatile tool in the manufacturing industry as the cost of acquiring and implementing the technology decreases. The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is conducting a project that will demonstrate the cost and time benefits of AM to support the construction of Navy platforms.

Technical Approach

Ingalls and EB are interested in using AM for several potential applications, such as visual aids for manufacturing, planning and staging; and production aids for temporary construction and templates. Using AM for these applications will lead to cost and time benefits, as well as improvements to first-time quality during ship construction.

On-site testing at Ingalls of three-dimensional (3-D) printed parts will be used to develop an implementation plan and to support a business case to invest capital funds for the purchase of a 3-D printer. At EB, the project-validated process map will be used as the basis for a procedure to instruct shipyard personnel on how to rapidly deploy new tooling / fixtures using AM.


Ingalls has estimated a minimum acquisition cost savings of $800,000 per year by utilizing AM for the construction of DDG, LHA and LPD. EB has estimated a minimum acquisition cost savings of $200,000 per Virginia class submarine (VCS) by using AM technology to rapidly deploy new tooling and fixtures.


Implementation at Ingalls is planned in FY17 for DDG 121, LHA, and all future surface combatants produced there. Implementation at EB is planned for FY 17 on VCS (SSN 794).




Brian Stackpole
PEO Ships (PMS 400D33)


General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation
PMS 450 Virginia Class Program Office
Ingalls Shipbuilding
PMS 400D - DDG 51 Program Office