3D Printing Revolutionises The Maritime Sector


Similar to the automotive and aerospace industries, the maritime sector has no choice but to embrace the complex topic of additive manufacturing. SMM is at the cutting edge: For the first time the leading international trade fair of the maritime industry will host a special exhibition on 3D printing.

From propellers and components to entire ships, there is hardly
anything additive manufacturing will not be able to make one day. 3D printing technology is still in its infancy, but experts agree that it will forever change the global flow of products; at the same time, however, it may open up entirely new perspectives for shipping. For example, by creating the ability to provide spare parts just in time at any place in the world. The 3D printing market harbours enormous potential: The American market research company International Data Corporation expects the 3D printing industry to grow by 15per cent annually over the next few years.
SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair, is once again a platform highlighting gamechanging innovations and future-looking technologies in a hands-on format. Living up to this reputation, SMM will for the first time present a special exhibition on 3D printing this year. Its project partner is the Maritime Cluster Norddeutschland (MCN).

Live demonstrations at the fair complex

At the “Maritime 3D Printing Show Area@SMM” in Hall B6, exhibitors will showcase their capabilities in additive manufacturing, including companies such as Rolf Lenk, Gefertec, MMG, Treo, SLM as well as the Maritime Cluster Norddeutschland. Visitors will be able to speak with subject matter experts while watching live additive manufacturing processes using a variety of materials. What sets this technology apart is that “components are no longer manufactured geometrically through casting, drilling or milling but in an additive process layer by layer,” explains Professor Claus Emmelmann, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Additive Production Technologies, IAPT. Not only does this ensure a spectacular visual experience; “it also enables production of designs of any level of complexity, far beyond anything anyone could have imagined in the past,” says Emmelmann. Weight reductions of up to 80per cent are possible. Companies exposed to intense competition could save substantial manufacturing and material costs while accelerating production times dramatically.