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Qualification and Certification of 3D Printed Parts for Naval Ships

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis defines and assesses necessary qualification and certification procedures for 3D-printed parts to be used onboard U.S. naval ships. This study is motivated by the milestones outlined in the Department of the Navys Additive Manufacturing Implementation Plan, specifically the need for in-depthanalysis of the qualification and certification of 3D-printed parts. Supporting the research, optimal printing types are identified, and specific parameters strongly correlated with part strength are decomposed. Using this information, physical architectures were developed to define a hierarchy of 3D printing echelons and their capabilities. Additionally, this thesis develops part request and data flow charts, identifies part categories applicable for 3D printing, and assesses essential settings for part qualification as well as testing procedures for certification. A part infill demonstration solidifies the need for careful consideration of print parameters when printing 3D parts. Utilizing the knowledge gained by the demonstration, two nondestructive evaluation methods, radiography and thermal imaging, were used to perform experiments that provide insights for part certification standards. These methods were chosen since they could be performed onboard without extreme cost, equipment or space requirements. The results identified the trade space for certification for each method, and areas of future work were acknowledged.

Subject Categories:

  • Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Marine Engineering

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