May 17, 2017 | By Julia

A Dutch ship manufacturer is making waves with a new focus on 3D printed parts. Earlier today, Damen Shipyards Group announced its newest venture: the development of a 3D printed, class approved propellor for its Damen Stan Tug 1606 model.

The first class approved 3D printed ship propellor in the world, the WAAMpeller (as it’s been dubbed) is the outcome of a new partnership between Damen, RAMLAB, Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas (BV).

According to Kees Custers, Project Engineer in Damen’s Research and Development department, the project began to pique Damen’s interest a little over a year ago, thanks to one of the company’s in-house student research programs. “Three students from Delft Technical University were investigating the potential of 3D printing for us. They brought us into contact with the other members of the consortium,” Custers said.

“What is quite unique about this group of five companies is that, while we have joint interests, we also have individual aims. This leads to a very productive and cooperative atmosphere in what is a very exciting project,” he added.

Specifically, RAMLAB from the Port of Rotterdam will be manufacturing the WAAMpeller from a bronze alloy, using a 3D printing process known as Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). Autodesk software will be used in this process. BV, on the other hand, will be involved in classing the propellor.

The WAAMpeller will be modelled after a Promarin design commonly seen on Damen’s Stan Tug 1606s. Measuring 1,300mm in diameter, the propellor should weigh roughly 180kg.

As the first ever application of a metal printed object in the maritime industry, Damen is clear that no stone will go unturned during the upcoming full scale trials.

“We will be performing a comprehensive programme that will include bollard pull and crash test scenarios. Our ambition is to demonstrate that the research phase for 3D printing in the maritime sector is over, and that it can now be effectively applied in operations,” Custers said.

The first propellor is expected to be 3D printed this summer. As Damen reps are quick to note, this project will hopefully be the first of many. As a part of its long term research program, the firm is working toward producing the next generation of maritime components for future vessels, Damen execs said in a statement.

The company has reported it is currently investigating the possibility of supplying parts to clients on demand. With a network of printers established, Damen says it will soon be possible to deliver parts anywhere in the world in a matter of mere days.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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EvgenyNN wrote at 5/23/2017 5:33:18 PM:

What the price of one propeller will be?

mr bloody annoyed at the hype wrote at 5/22/2017 6:33:42 PM:

So this hasn't actual happened AT ALL. it is not the first of anything - as it HASN'T HAPPENED. it is aspiration and may not work AT all.

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