3D Printing in Rotterdam Port
Is 3D printing just a hype? Or is it really possible to print spare parts for ships that can actually withstand the requirements set for the often "rough" working practice?
This question is to be answered by the project "3D printing of maritime spare parts". "27 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.
Today, the consortium agreement has been signed by all participating companies.
Will 3D printing give us solutions that we can use and apply?
The 27 participating companies contribute financially and by sharing their expertise. In anticipation of the pilot’s official start, they selected 30 possible spares. From these parts, 4 spare parts were chosen for actual 3D print production. The printing will be done in July/August. Testing will take place in September.
Robert van Herwaarden (General Manager AEGIR-Marine Production): “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 4 products was a learning process by itself. What can be 3D printed? When is it profitable and what are the benefits.”
Testing 3D spares: equally important
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. Be it now or in the future. 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.
Presentation of the 3D printed spares
The first results and the 3D-printed spare parts will be presented at the Rotterdam Port Days (early September). The final results will be presented during the 3D Print Conference in Rotterdam. This is scheduled for autumn 2015.