Large-format additive manufacturing for shipbuilding and repair

Posted on September 21, 2022 by Alice M.

Inside of the maritime sectorAdditive manufacturing is gaining popularity in boat production, whether for bespoke parts, higher performance components or complete models. In Greece, one of the countries where tourism is a key asset for the economy, the rental and sale of boats is booming, and has become a sector with significant demand. Market players include Stefos Yacht Services, a company that maintains and repairs a multitude of sailing and motor boats, often to tight deadlines. Recently, they have used a large-format additive manufacturing solution to speed up their manufacturing processes and offer their customers more personalized and efficient results. Accompanied by Lino3D, Stefos Yacht Services can now count on a true experience and benefit from the advantages of large format 3D printing.

Massivit3D is a company dedicated to the development of large format 3D printers with a generous print volume of up to 145 x 111 x 180 cm. Thus, the company targets industries that need to produce large parts at high speed. This is especially interesting in the maritime industry, especially for the repair of ships that need to resume their activity as soon as possible. The large-format additive manufacturing solutions developed by the company can be used, for example, to produce instrument panels or radar masts. Thanks to its large construction volume, the parts are manufactured in one go, without any assembly or assembly steps. This facilitates its waterproofing and, therefore, its duration over time. In addition, less waste is generated, which reduces the environmental impact.

3D printed piece with a Massivit machine.

This is probably what led Stefos Yacht Services to trust Massivit3D’s additive manufacturing solutions. Company founder and CEO Dimitris Stefos explained: “I started looking for the type of 3D printers that we could use to meet our needs. We needed a solution that was big, fast, and could be easily deployed. It was then that I met the Lino3D team, who advised me and directed me to a Massivit3D machine”. At the moment, Lino3D is 3D printing the necessary parts for Stefos Yacht Services and, thanks to the company’s experience in building and repairing ships, is post-processing the part.

Additive manufacturing now allows the Greek company to produce prototypes that can be installed on ships. Thus, the end customer can more easily project and validate the final part, instead of doing it on a CAD model. Through Lino3D, it also manufactures molds and finished parts. In any case, the technology offers significant time and cost savings. Dimitris Stefos states: “Today we use fiberglass reinforced plastic and polyester resin or epoxy resin for the final parts, and wood or other materials for the precast. This method, in addition to the time it takes and the excessive use of materials, has its limitations. Massivit’s 3D printer, on the other hand, can produce any shape in any size for molding at least three times faster.”.

Post-treatment of a 3D printed part

One of the main challenges facing the shipbuilding industry is the resistance of parts to wear and tear and weather conditions that can degrade the condition of the components. And although additive manufacturing offers a number of advantages, it is not immune to this. However, it is interesting because it will allow the part to be manufactured again in record time, without going through the creation of an expensive mold that is harmful to the environment. And it remains to be seen what material developments the 3D printing industry has in store for us.

One thing is for sure, Stefos Yacht Services can count on Lino3D’s expertise to develop innovative projects. Dimitris Stefos concludes: “Our collaboration continues in a close environment that allows me to have a panel of manufacturing solutions”. The ship specialist is expected to invest in its own Massivit 3D printer in the coming months.

3D printed mold by Velum Nautica for the hardtop of a yacht. (Credits: Massivit3D)

Lino3D will attend Metstrade in Amsterdam from November 15 to 17, in one of the biggest events dedicated to the nautical industry. It will be present at stand 12,603 ​​of Massivit3D. Also, you can visit the Lino3D website HERE for more information on these different processes.

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*Credits of all photos: Lino3D

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