ATI has been awarded the contract by Bechtel to construct a metal 3D printing facility for the US Navy.

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ATI Inc., a metal powder manufacturer based in Dallas, recently announced that it has secured a contract from Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc. (BPMI) to aid in the development of advanced manufacturing solutions for the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. As part of this contract, ATI will be constructing an additive manufacturing (AM) facility in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area, with an expected launch date in mid-2024. Interestingly, this is the second contract awarded by BPMI for a metal AM facility in the region dedicated to the navy’s nuclear program. Since March 2023, when BPMI awarded a contract to Sintavia for a similar facility, southeastern Florida has become a prominent hub for metal AM, which will likely have long-term impacts on the US supply chains.

The new facility by ATI will bring together its ATI Forged Products and ATI Specialty Materials divisions, and has been designed to facilitate expansion. In a press release, Kim Fields, ATI’s president and chief operating officer, expressed excitement about delivering additively manufactured materials and components that contribute to the defense industry. According to Barb Staniscia, the president and general manager of BPMI, AM offers significant advantages to the Naval Program such as faster ship construction, improved operational readiness, cost reduction, and enhanced warfighting capability. Metal AM is driving improvements in lead time, design, and performance for the US Navy.

The success of the US Navy in implementing AM technology over the past few years has been a noteworthy innovation in the global economy. While the broader effects are still difficult to quantify, the fact that 3D printers have been permanently installed on US Navy vessels for nearly a year cannot be overlooked. This symbolic achievement has not gone unnoticed by the Chinese government, as the potential implications of deployable floating factories are evident. Consequently, Chinese companies have also been announcing advancements in metal AM, and it is expected that progress in this field will continue from both nations throughout the year. This ongoing competition in technological progress between the world’s two leading economies has far-reaching effects, shaping economic policies adopted by governments worldwide. Concrete examples like the one presented here provide insight into the overall direction of these policies.

To stay abreast of the latest news in the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third-party vendors, it is advisable to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

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