The question of whether it is possible to print spare parts for ships that can actually withstand the demanding real world requirements of maritime activity is set to be answered by a new project that will look at the 3D printing of maritime spare parts.
Twenty-seven marine related companies have formed a consortium initiated by InnovationQuarters, in close cooperation with Havenbedrijf Rotterdam and RDM Makerspace. AEGIR-Marine is one of the participants.
The 27 participating companies contribute financially and by sharing their expertise. In anticipation of the pilot project’s official start, they selected 30 possible spares. From these parts, parts were chosen for actual 3D print production. The printing will be done in July/August and testing will take place in September.
Robert van Herwaarden, General Manager, AEGIR-Marine Production, stated, “Innovation is one of our priorities and we were already exploring 3D printing for our business. Joining this consortium was, therefore, a natural thing to do. I found that the selection of the final four products was a learning process by itself. What can be 3D printed? When is it profitable and what are the benefits?”
The consortium will test the newly produced spare parts in September to determine whether these new spares live up to the requirements that everyday practice demands. In addition, the partners will build a database of products suitable for 3D printing. This database will provide a guide for marine companies when selecting materials and manufacturing and machining methods.
This project will yield a list of possibilities and advantages of 3D printing and offers the participants not only knowledge but also the possibility to actually deploy this new technology for their company.
The first results and the 3D printed spare parts will be presented at the Rotterdam Port Days event in early September and the final results will be presented during the 3D Print Conference in Rotterdam, scheduled for autumn 2015.
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