Where does 3D printing fit into the shiptech market?

Danish engineers PJ Diesel says it, along with a group of partners, has set out to assess 3D printing in a new project exploring the opportunities across the maritime supply chain from original equipment manufacturer, to end user.

It is one of four projects being run under the Danish Green Ship of the Future prject looking at 3D printing

In collaboration with DNV GL, DTU, Dycomet, FORCE Technology, KBB, Maersk Drilling, and Thürmer Tools,  the Danish company said it has identified a number of suitable test parts that can be repaired with the use of laser cladding and cold spray 3D print technology.

“Being able to gather the whole maritime value chain around an additive manufacturing project like this is to my knowledge a first – many industry leaders talk about collaboration but here we have a real-world example” – states Rasmus Elsborg-Jensen of PJ Diesel.

The announcement follows a similar statement earlier this year from Norway’s Wilhelmsen group which said it has teamed up with Ivaldi, a US-based 3D printing start-up, to look at how it can create on-demand supply for the shipping industry.

Wilhelmsen chief executive Thomas Wilhelmsen said at the time that his company sees a future in sending files and printing instructions digitally instead of sending spare parts. “We see the future of supply as being on-demand, locally distributed and fully digitised.”

PJ Diesel will assess the use of laser cladding and cold spray 3D printing techniques. Laser cladding is an additive manufacturing technique in which powder is fed into a melt pool created by a laser. The laser is scanned across the surface to add material one layer at a time. A CAD solid model of the part is used to create the code to guide the laser.  With cold spray, a metal powder is sprayed onto a component below the metals melting point. The technology allows a metal parts to be rebuild or strengthened with a metal alloy, instead of replacing it with a new.


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