Apr 27, 2016 | By Alec

It’s increasingly looking like 3D printing and ships are a natural combination, as various navies around the world are already recognizing the technology’s potential for creating parts in distant corners of the globe. The Chinese navy has already experimented with metal 3D printers aboard warships for the creation of spare parts during missions, while the UK is looking into the 3D printing of reconnaissance drones on the high seas. But the South Korean government seems to be far more ambitious. It has just been revealed that they will set up a five-year research project in Ulsan for the development of actual 3D printed ships and offshore equipment.

This project is financed by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and is expected to cost around $20 million over a five year period. The exploration of 3D printed ship development is expected to kick off in 2017. Few other details surrounding this project are already available, expect that it will be housed in Ulsan.

The decision to set up this project in Ulsan was doubtlessly easy to make. The Ulsan Metropolitan City, to give its full name, is the South Korean industrial capital. Though just a fishing port just a few decades ago, it became one of the focus points of the Korean push for industrial development during the 1960s. Today it is home to a huge harbor complex and a wide number of heavy industries, including oil refinement and automobile production. The HQ of Hyundai is also located in Ulsan, as is their automobile assembly plant – the largest in the world. But the city’s immense harbor will now thus also house one of the most ambitious and largest 3D printing projects we’ve ever seen.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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