Project begins 3D printing of metal ship spares

Maritime eCommerce company ShipParts.com, Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and class society ABS have signed a research collaboration agreement to explore the provision of certified 3D printed metal ship spares.

The agreement aims to demonstrate acceptable standards for the certification of metallic components produced by NYP’s Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) for use in maritime environments.

The SGD$350,000 project – partly subsidised by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) – will focus on the 3D printed metal part of an end-user component using a Selective Laser Melting 3D printing machine. The SLM technology can print complex parts in a variety of materials, including stainless steel (SS316L).

In the first phase of the ten-month project, beginning April 2020, the research teams will develop metal part printing procedures and carry out tensile, chemical and microstructure tests of the printing medium in line with ABS rules and standards governing weld and material strength.

Phase two will include the 3D printing of a metal component –  a pump impeller – and evaluation of the performance of the part in standard equipment. The project is expected to completed in January next year.

NYP’s Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMiC) will develop the metal printing test processes, facilitate testing and conduct analysis. ShipParts.com will provide the design criteria for parts produced by 3D metal printing licensed via its consortium of manufacturing partners, while ABS will develop new testing and qualification standards and audit the manufacturing process.

“We are excited to be part of this project as it has the potential to place Singapore at the forefront of the maritime industry’s 3D printing hub,” said Desmond Tan, Centre Director of NYP’s AMiC.

“With NYP’s vast expertise in Additive Manufacturing, we are well-placed to ensure that the quality and reliability of the parts produced are consistent and meet qualification standards.”

Once the project is completed, ShipParts.com will proceed with commercialisation of the technology to provide 3D printed parts to end users on its platform.

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About the Author

Rob O'Dwyer
Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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