LOUISVILLE, Ky.- Three members of Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to get hands-on experience setting up and operating a Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) machine, Feb. 21-March 1.
“The week-long course at the University of Louisville provided expert guidance on the device, which allows operators to test manufactured metal parts for combat systems,” said Tim Tenopir, one of the participants.
Tenopir, along with Zachary Stephens, of NSWC PHD’s Office of Technology (OOT), and Michael Jastrzembski, from Air Dominance Department’s Combat Systems Support Equipment Engineering Branch, lab manager for the Engineering and Development Laboratory (EDL), joined several others from NSWC Carderock Division and NSWC Crane Division for the course.
“This is different than the polymer 3D printers we currently have,” said Jastrzembski. “This method uses metal powder spread in a thin layer over a part where a laser then selectively melts the powder to the previous layer. This process is repeated one layer at a time until all the combined layers form a part.”
“The parts that are produced will then be used by the Navy to determine if they meet standards to replace worn or obsolete parts on our combat systems equipment,” said Stephens.
“This is a laboratory tool,” said Tenopir. “We’re not producing parts for the Navy, we’re setting up parameters for this fused metal machine, and then do the research to determine if the parts meet the parameters for the Navy.”
According to the trio, one of the main takeaways from the course is to help provide the Navy with the best and newest technology to meet current and future goals.
“One of the main purposes of this program is to move forward with technology safely,” said Stephens.
“This engineering tool will allow NSWC PHD to continue to do its assigned mission through diminished obsolescence and rapid prototyping,” Said Tenopir.
OOT is expected to receive the $1 million device by June.
Story by Robert Palomares, NSWC PHD Public Affairs
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