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.

  • 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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  • Sintavia 3D prints massive metal heat exchanger on AMCM machine

    Florida-based Sintavia, a metal AM service provider focusing primarily on aerospace applications, recently completed the additive production of a massive metal heat exchanger, 3D printed on one of the company’s two internal AMCM M4K-4 metal 3D printer. The seawater heat exchangers is one of the largest single metal parts ever…

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  • Singapore Polytechnic and MolyWorks Materials sign MOU. The partnership aims to advance the maritime and off-shore industries.

    Singapore Polytechnic and MolyWorks Materials sign MOU

    Singapore Polytechnic and MolyWorks Materials Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU aims to accelerate the adoption of metal AM and metal recycling technology for the maritime and offshore industry to digitally transform the supply chain and drive sustainability. The signing ceremony took place at the MarineTech…

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  •, SLM Solutions and VO launch Cloud-to-Print solution

    Viaccess-Orca, SLM Solutions, and have launched a new technology solution to enable direct Cloud-to-Print for Additive Manufacturing (AM). The Cloud-to-Print solution enhances the usage of parts data from the cloud thanks to Viaccess-Orca’s Secure Manufacturing Platform (SMP), a digital assets protection and traceability solution, to enable secure printing…

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  • An app to customize your new Tanaruz electric 3D printed yacht

    The Tanaruz 3D printed boat project by RAW Idea is beginning to take form. We have to admit we were very skeptical of this project, which promises a customized, fully 3D printed yacht available to anyone on demand (at a fair price). And the route to a real, tested and…

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  • Anduril Industries acquires Dive Technologies

    Defense technology company Anduril Industries today announced it has acquired Boston-based start-up Dive Technologies, a pioneer in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), especially with the LFAM 3D printed DIVE-LD system. This acquisition expands Anduril’s suite of autonomous systems, including the proprietary Lattice OS software, and it also extends its unmanned capabilities…

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  • Rolling in the deep, using AM for deepwater applications

    3D printed parts are now commonplace in end-use applications, but not all are used in as exacting an environment as the ones used by Planet Ocean, based in Camberley, UK. Planet Ocean is a specialist in the provision of high-quality, marine scientific instruments for research, survey, naval, and operations support.…

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  • ABS approves 3D printed spare parts after testing on oil tanker

    ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers, Sembcorp Marine Ltd and 3D Metalforge have taken a significant step to make additive manufacturing (AM) – also known as 3D printing – a reality in the marine industry through a joint development project. Parts fabricated by AM and installed on an oil tanker six months…

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  • Massivit 3D marks its expansion into the marine AM arena at IBEX 2021

    Massivit 3D Printing Technologies will present its latest additive manufacturing technologies at IBEX 2021 in Tampa, Florida at Booth 3-053 on September 28-30, marking its expansion into the marine manufacturing market. The company will showcase the Massivit 5000 – recently launched to serve large-scale production for marine, automotive, and rail manufacturers…

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  • DNV certificates Keppel world largest 3D printed shipboard fitting

    Keppel Technology & Innovation (KTI) has received a verification certificate for a 3D printed deck mounted type Panama Chock (SWL150Ton) from DNV, the independent energy expert and assurance provider’s Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence in Singapore. The component, which is intended for non-class maritime applications, is the world’s…

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