The Aluminium Keel project is part of an ongoing collaboration between KM Yachtbuilders and MX3D to research and 3D print aluminum parts for the maritime industry. The aluminum 3D printed keel was produced using a Robotic WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) process.
This metallic keel is custom designed by KM Yachtbuilders and printed by MX3D to highlight the potential of robotic WAAM technology for maritime applications. The ultimate goal for MX3D is to produce on-demand spare parts and end-use parts for yachts.
The aluminum 3D printed keel has a length of 4200 mm, a maximum diameter of 650 mm, and a total weight of 180 kg. Moreover, the design allows for optimal flow of the molten led and incorporates an internal structure of stiffeners for increased performance.
One of MX3D’s goals is to certify aluminum parts with a Lloyd’s Register 3.2 certification. The company has been working on several projects addressing the maritime industry’s demand for large size metal parts. As LFAM processes become increasingly available in both polymers and metals, The maritime industry has recently begun to scale up its adoption of AM.
As skilled welders become scarce and customization the standard, yacht builders like KM Yacht builders have been looking for innovative methods to produce their unique parts efficiently and cost-effectively. KMY partnered with MX3D, to research how its WAAM technology can enable businesses to print industrial metal parts on-site.
The benefits of tool-less manufacturing are particularly evident for yachts and large ships that often require a single component or very small batches of very large parts. 3dpbm has recently published a free eBook highlighting all the key benefits, relevant applications cases, and ideal value propositions for AM adoption in the global maritime segment.
Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) partly funded this aluminum keel research project with the SME Innovation Stimulation subsidy by the Dutch Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat.