Maritime Industry

The maritime industry, which comprises shipping companies, ships manufacturing, and port authorities, has slowly begun to undergo a digital transformation. In 3dpbm‘s analysis, the maritime industrial sector is intended as encompassing all navigation-related applications, including marine industry products such as sailing boats and yachts, and above or underwater energy applications (both fossil and renewable).

Automation is gaining increasing interest across the maritime industry while IMO puts the issue of autonomous ships high on the agenda, stepping up efforts toward their adoption. Also, advanced software and simulation capabilities are emerging and maritime connectivity improved. Not until very recently, however, did the digital transformation in the maritime industry apply to manufacturing – and specifically to additive manufacturing processes.

There are multiple reasons why AM was slower to enter maritime industry manufacturing processes and they depend largely on the type of ships. For example, in the yachting industry, AM already proves ideal for a large number of parts – even small parts – due to the very small zie of batches required. However, operators in this industry are traditionally very slow to adapt to change. Recently, with some pressure from LFAM composites hardware system manufacturers such as Ingersoll, Thermwood and Caracol, operators in the yachting industry have begun to explore the opportunities for large format mold production using AM.

There are of course exceptions, especially in what we consider marine (rather than maritime) applications. This segment, which includes racing boats (especially in America’s Cup, where technological advancements and weight containment are major issues), as well as luxury yachts. This segment has already begun opening up to these technologies for the production of small part batches or custom components. In some mainly exploratory cases, composite (CFR or GFR) materials have enabled additive manufacturing of very large parts using materials that provide sufficient chemical and environmental resistance to be used in the tough marine environment. In one case, even an entire submarine hull was 3D printed in a joint project involving ORNL and the US Navy.

In the transportation industry, thus in seaport and large ships applications, the biggest limit was part size. As new DED, WAAM and blown powder processes have enabled faster additive production of much larger parts, a slew of new applications have emerged to enable direct and cost-effective production of marine parts such as propellers, submarine ballasts and several other parts.

Yet another key application of AM for the maritime industry is on-demand part replacements. In this case, AM has shown to be applicable both within onshore shipyards/ports and directly on-board large ships such as – but not limited toaircraft carriers that have to spend a long time at sea.

Finally, 3D printing, even with concrete-based materials, has proven useful for building underwater structures and even help rebuild coral barriers and more recently for on-location production of large wind turbine towers. These applications fit more within the realm of construction 3D printing, however, they have already shown enormous potential. Below you will find the latest updates on most relevant news and application cases for AM in the maritime industry.

  • CEAD builds 36 meter long Mega II 3D printer for Al Seer Marine

    Sometimes a photo is worth a thousand words and this may be one of those times. Meet the Mega II, the world’s largest 3D printer, created by composites LFAM specialist CEAD for Al Seer Marine, the leading marine company in the Arabian maritime region, with a portfolio of services that…

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  • The US Navy has installed the first metal 3D printer (a Phillips Additive Hybrid system) onboard USS Bataan.

    US Navy installs first metal 3D printer onboard USS Bataan

    The US Navy has advanced efforts to improve self-sufficiency for deployed ships and their crews, and has reduced supply chain lead times by leveraging additive manufacturing through the installation of the first metal 3D printer – permanently installed aboard a naval ship (USS Bataan). “The introduction of additive manufacturing into…

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  • AML3D signs purchase contract with BAE Systems Australia. To support the designing and building of nine Hunter class frigates.

    AML3D signs purchase contract with BAE Systems Australia

    AML3D has signed a purchase contract with BAE Systems Australia to investigate the feasibility and prototyping of components to support the company’s contract to design and build nine Hunter class frigates. Although the financial value of this particular purchase contract is not material, it represents an expansion of AML3D’s strategic…

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  • Titomic launches new D623 cold spray system. The company has already received two purchase orders totaling ~AUD 270,000.

    Alliance Pte Ltd gives Titomic access to Asia’s marine industry

    Titomic Limited has further expanded into Asia by entering into a reseller agreement with Alliance Pte Ltd. Alliance will market Titomic Kinetic Fusion cold spray systems as an official reseller within Malaysia and Singapore with a focus on the marine industry. Revenue to Titomic, from the reseller agreement, will be…

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  • Essentium demonstrates AM capabilities, at REPTX, to expand the US Navy's ability to perform expeditionary maintenance operations.

    Essentium demonstrates AM capabilities to US Navy at REPTX

    Essentium Inc., a leader in industrial additive manufacturing, has successfully completed its initial participation in the US Navy’s Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX) at Port Hueneme, California. At REPTX, Essentium demonstrated to government, academia, and industry participants the viability and efficacy of its AM solutions to expand the Navy’s ability to…

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  • BMT Aerospace chooses DNV for AM process qualification

    Additive Manufacturing is making its way into various industries as a viable technique for serial production. Its benefits in design freedom, lead time reduction and supply chain benefits are clear, yet the lack of relevant standards is limiting mass adoption. This is the main reason for DNV to create the…

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  • CuNi30 developed by 3D Systems in collaboration with HII. A corrosion-resistant, copper-nickel alloy for use with the DMP Flex 350 printer.

    CuNi30 developed by 3D Systems in collaboration with HII

    3D Systems has developed CuNi30, a corrosion-resistant, copper-nickel alloy for use with its DMP Flex 350 metal 3D printer. This material resulted from the company’s collaboration with HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, which focused on developing materials and process parameters for laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing. The companies’ deep…

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  • PUNCH Torino and Roboze enter AM partnership to accelerate the industrialization of 3D printing in the automotive and marine sectors.

    PUNCH Torino and Roboze enter AM partnership

    PUNCH Torino and Roboze, both at the forefront of the additive manufacturing sector, have signed a partnership agreement that will see the pair work towards accelerating the industrialization of 3D printing in the automotive and marine sectors. The goal of the two partners will be to increase the adoption of…

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  • AML3D receives DNV accreditation to manufacture marine components. AML3D’s WAM technology meets the enhanced ‘class certification’ standards

    AML3D receives DNV accreditation to manufacture marine components

    AML3D has been awarded the first Additive Manufacturing Facility accreditation with wire feedstock from DNV, the world’s leading Marine & Industrial Classification Society. The accreditation encompasses an “Approval of Manufacturer” (AoM) certificate and demonstrates that AML3D’s WAM technology meets the enhanced ‘class certification’ standards for integrity and quality that are…

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  • Zeal 3D participates in INDO PACIFIC 2022

    Zeal 3D, a leading Australian additive manufacturing company, will attend INDO PACIFIC International Maritime Exposition 2022 in Sydney. At the event, the company will get the opportunity to embrace ongoing 3D printing trends in the marine industry and interact with stakeholders worldwide. Zeal 3D is a leading manufacturer offering a…

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