MELD has created a breakthrough 3D printing process that gained the attention of the U.S. Army as it moves forward on the construction of the world’s largest 3D printer dubbed “The Jointless Hull” project. The project was unveiled on the official Army website, army.mil, on June 1, 2021.
The article states that the “42-foot-tall printer that can print a tank hull” is a joint project, listing a company called ASTRO America as the prime contractor. MELD will be a subcontractor on the contract.
MELD Manufacturing Corporation, which was launched in 2018 as a subsidiary of Aeroprobe Corporation, was selected for the contract for their patented MELD technology.
MELD is a unique process for additive manufacturing that avoids melting the metal, thereby eliminating the weaknesses and other issues associated with melt-based processes. In addition to additive manufacturing, MELD can repair, coat, and join a wide range of materials, including some metals that cannot be welded with traditional processes. MELD’s open-atmosphere operation and scalable equipment make it more efficient and capable of producing more significant parts than similar processes.
The article quotes MELD Manufacturing Corporation CEO Nanci Hardwick saying,
“With MELD, we’ve figured out how to put just enough energy into the metal to make it printable without melting. The MELD process can do metals and parts that other processes are not.”
MELD made headlines at the 2018 R&D 100 Awards, an an international competition that recognizes the 100 most exceptional innovations in science and technology from the past year. MELD™ was selected as the single most disruptive new technology and received a special Market Disruptor award.
Per the article “MELD makes parts to order and sells and leases machines to customers who want to make their parts. It has a contract to supply a machine to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at the end of 2022”.
The article wraps up with a quote from MELD CEO Nancy Hardwick by asking what’s next for the metal magicians. Hardwick says, “We have a lot of opportunity in front of us, and we’re evaluating the best way to grow and serve the market.”
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