Is it time to use 3D Printing in Singapore's Maritime Sector?

The maritime industry is no different when it comes to industries trying to keep up with the digital revolution. With a wide range of changes already taking place in Singapore, as seen with the launch of the [email protected]’s second phase, such innovations will benefit over 2,000 shipping firms and ensure vessels spend an entire day less in port.

As the digital revolution continues to sweep across Singapore’s maritime sector, the use of 3D printing technology could contribute substantially to these dramatic industry-wide enhancements. With industrial 3D printing currently benefiting the electronics, robotics, automation and consumer goods sectors, there’s undoubtedly vast potential in the maritime industry as well.

Here, we look at how far 3D printed parts have come in this industry and how this revolutionary technology can help your company establish a solid foundation for the future.

Application of 3D Printing in Marine Industry: Where Are We Now?

Although 3D printing in the maritime industry is still evolving, there are already numerous shipping parts, including engine components and fuel nozzles, being manufactured via additive manufacturing methods in Singapore. These 3D printed parts are tested on an array of vessels registered in Singapore, ranging from tub boats to massive container ships.

Just last year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) awarded $1.625 million to 11 maritime industry projects through the Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund. With the goal of boosting digitisation, this funding is being put towards the rapid adoption of 3D printing industrial parts for the maritime sector.

The corporate world is also taking notice, with shipping giant Wilhelmsen developing 3D printing techniques to produce spare components and deliver them via drone to customers already at sea. As the owner of the largest maritime network in the world, Wilhelmsen’s research could create faster change across the industry. 

As the benefits of 3D printing become increasingly known to both governments and businesses around the globe, uptake and investment in the technology ensures swift improvements in the coming years. This is why businesses should be looking to adopt 3D printing into their workflow as soon as possible.

Advantages of 3D Printing

  1. Additive Manufacturing technology ensures ships can quickly and easily replace critical and important parts that might otherwise compromise safety. 
  2. Product design for certain parts can be improved in terms of customisation and efficiency by using 3D printing methods.
  3. As the supply chain for shipping parts may be slow or disrupted, 3D printing ensures ships can access components and spare parts quickly and reliably.

Set Sail on 3D Printing with Additive3D Asia

As one of Singapore’s leading 3D printing companies, Additive3D Asia has the skills and experience to assist organisations operating in the maritime industry with the development of their parts. This can be achieved through our Digital Part Analysis service, which can quickly determine whether 3D printing is suitable for a specific component in terms of cost, materials and printability. 

If you choose to develop your metal parts with Additive3D Asia, we can use a range of industrial materials and post processing treatment for 3D printing to create stellar components replacements. For example, we offer single metals such as aluminium, stainless steel and copper, as well as nickel- and titanium-based alloys. In addition, the predictability and traceability provided by our online platform ensures you know precisely when your 3D printed parts will be available and at what stage of the manufacturing cycle, helping you better schedule repairs and maintenance in MRO.

Additive3D Asia also offers other high performing industrial materials in 3D printing which can be an option for metal replacement. An example is the use of Carbon PEEK material in the Maritime industry, its resistance to chemicals, flame retardant (UL94 V0 FST), seawater and acids, together with its resistance to high temperature, very-high- loaded weight, open the doors for extreme applications. 

Picture Courtesy of Roboze:Example of a Carbon PEEK part with heat deflection temperature (HDT) reaching up to 280°C and very strong material with a Ultimate Tensile Strength up to 138 MPa

From a cost and time saving comparison, 3D printing is able to achieve a health positive ROI of up to 70% to 90% (actual results defer according to the industry application) versus other manufacturing methods. In terms of maintaining a sustainable supply chain, 3D printing is able to produce components, parts and even up to functional end use products by producing locally with Additive3D Asia.

Outside of the maritime industry, 3D printed parts are being used across the aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and consumer products industries. As this technology continues to receive a high adoption and implementation, industrial 3D printing offers incredible potential that’s only bound to improve.

Get in touch with the experts at Additive3D Asia to learn more about our range of 3D printing solutions.