3D printing has proved its mettle in space and it will now be used to explore the seas. International Submarine Engineering, Ltd. (ISE) has collaborated with the metal 3D printing company Sciaky, Inc. to avail its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) technology for manufacturing the titanium Variable Ballast (VB) for its Arctic Explorer Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
ISE got in touch with Sciaky, Inc. after its VB supplying company shut down. Sciaky had earlier worked with Lockheed Martin Space Systems to 3D print titanium propellant tanks which had resulted in cutting back on production time and cost. ISE evaluated that the EBAM manufacturing method could be well suited for its production purposes. Sciaky is a subsidiary company of Philips Service Industries, Inc. and planned the best course of action for delivering the variable ballast tank. A project management team with engineers was set up to start working on the project. EBAM technology with a scalable 3D printing solution and has the fastest deposition process for metal 3D printing.
The metal 3D printing technology of Sciaky reduced the time and the cost of production compared to the traditional manufacturing methods. The VB tank is successfully manufactured passing all tests of reliability. Sciaky intends to manufacture more titanium 3D printing parts for crucial equipment in future.
As mentioned, the 3D printed titanium VB tank will installed onboard ISE’s new Arctic Explorer AUV, at the University of Tasmania and later deployed in Antarctica. Arctic Explorers are the largest type of AUV and ISE has already built two Arctic Explorers.
Bob Philips, VP of marketing for Sciaky, Inc., said that they were proud to cut the production time by 50 percent and reduce costs by using the EBAM process 3D printing. He further said that their EBAM technology is the global leader in additive manufacturing techniques that has been approved for land, sea, air, and space applications.