AML3D Limited just shipped its first stainless steel grade 316L 3D printed propeller to 3D Printing Corporation. 3DPC is a Japanese based 3D printing consultancy firm, focused on unearthing innovative, industry 4.0 technologies capable of enhancing the manufacturing capabilities of their clients.
Both companies have been making significant moves recently. AML3D raised funding and began shipping its Arcemy WAM hardware and/or relative applications systems to clients in Australia and Asia, while 3DPC began distributing Canada’s AON systems in Japan.
“We are proud to be able to deliver a complex propeller blade trial piece and look forward to expanding our presence in both the Asia Pacific region and global marine sector with the support of 3DPC,” commented Mr. Andrew Sales, AML3D’s Managing Director.
The propeller will be made available to 3DPC’s marine clients as a ‘showpiece’ to demonstrate the advantages of AML3D’s Wire Arc Manufacturing (“WAM”) technology over the traditional casting methods. Over the coming months, 3DPC’s clients will be in a position to verify WAM’s ability to promptly manufacture complex, custom propellers with superior strength and shortened delivery times.
The relationship with 3DPC provides a significant opportunity to capitalize on the growing global market for propellers, which is anticipated to reach ~US$5.4bn by 20221 with considerable demand coming from the APAC region.
The purchase order for the showpiece propeller is valued at ~$10,000. It is anticipated that successful validation may lead to significant commercial contracts with various 3DPC clients. AML3D will update the market in due course on the progression of these opportunities.
From WAM to WAAM
In the meantime, in Holland, KM Yachtbuilders (KMY) partnered with MX3D partner to 3D print aluminum yacht parts, using MX3D’s WAAM process. As skilled welders become scarce and customization the standard, yacht builders like KM Yacht builders have been looking for innovative methods to produce their unique parts efficiently and cost-effectively. KMY partnered with MX3D, to research how its WAAM technology can enable businesses to print industrial metal parts on-site.
The research was in part funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). A key part developed during the collaboration between the two companies is an aluminum cowl vent which was custom designed by KMY, printed by MX3D and post-processed by KMY. On September 26th, the custom cowl vent will be showcased along with other printed parts at the KM Yachtbuilders Open Day in Makkum (NL).
Interested parties are invited to visit the yard in person, to discuss the opportunities of WAAM with KM Yachtbuilders’ nautical expert Rene Feenstra and MX3D’s 3D printing expert Filippo Gilardi and step onboard several amazing yachts. MX3D will be releasing more fully WAAM printed yacht parts.
*This article was originally published on September 24th and updated on September 25th to include information about KMY and MX3D