Feb 11, 2019 | By Cameron

Last year, we reported on the collaboration between French defense contractor Naval Group and French engineering school Centrale Nantes that led to the first full-scale 3D printed military propeller, and now that same collaboration has resulted in the world’s first 3D printed hollow propeller blade. The blade case study is part of the European H2020 project, RAMSSES (Realization and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships), which is funded by the European Commission and seeks to leverage new technologies such as 3D printing to reduce the environmental footprint of fabricating and operating large naval vessels.

Using Wire Arc for Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), the group plans to 3D print steel propellers up to six meters in diameter, but the tested prototype was produced at one-third scale. The blade weighs approximately 300kg and took less than 100 hours of print time to fabricate. Their analysis indicates that 3D printing the blades at full scale could result in a weight reduction of 40 percent! That doesn’t just require less material but also reduces the load on the engines, which could further reduce fuel consumption and thus the environmental impact of the ship. Additionally, the improved blade design from Sirehna, a Centrale Nantes spin-off and subsidiary of Naval Group, increases efficiency and durability while reducing radiated noise and vibrations that have negative effects on marine animals.

Naval Group’s Patrice Vinot, Propeller Package Manager for the RAMSSES project, relates some excitement about the proof of concept, stating: “Although additive manufacturing is increasingly present in industry, the programming and design of complex parts, such as propeller blades for ships, represents a considerable challenge for our teams and our partners. The potential of the process revealed by this new case study means that we now anticipate unparalleled performance for the propellers of tomorrow. Taking part in projects such as RAMSSES and coordinating our network of academic and industrial partners will allow us to bring 3D printing into shipyards for the long term.”

Professor Jean-Yves Hascoët is head of the Rapid Manufacturing Platform at Centrale Nantes and an international expert in additive manufacturing; he explains: “Additive manufacturing has been developed over the last 35 years on the Rapid Manufacturing Platform. All these years of research come to fruition through a project like RAMSSES, which represents a real transfer of our technologies into an industrial environment.” The naval industry is slowly but surely adopting 3D printing, ensuring a future of smooth sailing.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Michael Fuselier wrote at 2/19/2019 4:08:30 PM:

This link is broken. http://www.3ders.org/articles/Hexbot%20modular%20all-in-1%20desktop%20robot%20arm%20can%203D%20print,%20draw,%20engrave%20and%20pick%20objects.html

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