The reasons why we use 3D printed boat parts

The marine industry is changing rapidly. In this uncertain environment, 3D printing gives you cost-competitive production of custom maritime parts. With our digitally driven 'build-to-demand' model, we are able to manufacture thousands of different parts on demand, reducing tlead times, costs, inventory and waste. Furthermore, countless standard materials and special materials are available. In addition to using 3D printing technology to produce boat parts, we also use it on our boats to better design each boat's structure and make repairs faster. Built to order is the key: We partner therefore with customers who share our goal of creating a sustainable future for boating through innovative materials and design.

a) The marine industry is changing rapidly

The marine industry is changing rapidly with new materials, new technologies and new regulations. New materials such as fiber-reinforced composites are being used to manufacture boat parts in place of traditional carbon fiber or glass fiber. Similarly, innovative metal blends and grades are emerging. The use of these materials could lead to lighter boats that consume less fuel as well as faster boats that are more affordable for consumers. By choocing industrial 3D printers for manufacturing the possibilities in terms of special materials and material combinations is almost limitless.

New technologies such as 3D printing also offer a chance for manufacturers to produce custom parts quickly and easily while reducing waste costs by eliminating the need for molding dies or tooling required in traditional manufacturing processes. This means that you can have exactly what you want without having to wait for it!

b) The 3D printed boat parts are a better quality product

3D printing is a technology that has been used in other markets for decades, but never before has it been used in such a way that produces an entire hull. The reason we use 3D printed boat parts is because they are not only more efficient when it comes to production (using less material and time), but they are also a better quality product. The application-specific selection of 3d printing processes and materials almost always ensures that individual customer and environmental requirements are met in the best possible way. 3D printing allows us to make repairs faster than traditional methods, which means more time spent on the water and less time waiting for parts. It also cuts down on waste by reducing the need for excess materials or labor costs associated with waste removal. 3D printed products can also be created from recycled materials like plastic pellets, reducing our impact on the environment even further!

c) 3D printing offers cost-competitive production of custom maritime parts

  • With 3D printing, you can use more than one material in a single part. One of the most common applications is to create a part with a rigid exterior and then fill that with a lightweight foam insulation in one manufacturing process to improve buoyancy and reduce weight. Numerous other mixed-material applications are also possible today.
  • You can also make one-off or small run parts without having to invest in expensive tooling or fixtures. This makes 3D printing ideal for low volume production runs where it may be cost-prohibitive to make large batches at once (e.g., if you have custom designs).
  • When compared on an apples-to-apples basis, the price per unit is often significantly less when using 3D printed parts instead of more traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding or machining (this will vary depending on part complexity as well as quantity of required units).

d) We are able to manufacture parts on demand, reducing lead times, costs, inventory and waste

With our digitally driven ‘build-to-demand’ model, we are able to manufacture thousands of different parts on demand locally, reducing lead times, costs, inventory and waste. Any change will be implemented directly into the production as close as possible to the desired delivery point. Simply upload an updated file and 3D print it. No tooling modifications are required, no outdated inventory, no scrapping of material. Our manufacturing process allows us to create custom parts in small batches or large quantities for a variety of applications.

e) Multiple materials are available.

3D printing has been around since the 1980s, and it's only grown in popularity since then. With 3D printing, you can create products that are highly customized to fit your needs. It's great for creating prototypes or small batches of serial products because it reduces costs by making the most efficient use of materials possible.

Nowadays, there are a variety of resistant materials available for industrial 3D printing: all kinds of plastics, stainless steel, titanium, tungsten, aluminum, ceramics, wood, carbon fiber, and others. These materials offer different properties depending on what you're looking for (e.g., hardness, look, feel). With these options at hand, it's easy to see why so many people choose this method over traditional manufacturing methods—it's just more versatile!

f) We use it on our boats to better design and make repairs faster

When you're designing a vessel, 3D printing lets you test individual solutions on a boat and move through design iterations faster. The more everyone involved can see, try and feel the design during the process, the better the end result will be. This way, you can implement changes faster, which means you can reduce the overall time of your design process while avoiding design errors or misunderstandings within the team. With each real sample, acceptance and enthusiasm among stakeholders grows. You will also save money on the manufacturing of the final design and improve the overall quality of your vessel compared to traditional development phases.

In addition to using 3D printing technology in our industrial applications, we also use it on our boats themselves. We use 3D printed parts for example as spare parts, in collisions or other structural damage repairs on-site rather than sending the damaged piece back to our shop for repairs or having them shipped from a manufacturer (which can take months). By doing this, we not only save time, or import taxes but also get back in business sooner!

g) We built to order

The freedom of complexity means that you can order as many or as few individual designs as you need. This is especially beneficial for builders with a smaller production line, like those who want to do one-off projects or custom builds. 3D printing allows us to use materials and processes according to the desired outcome, which gives us more flexibility in our designs and helps us better tailor them to meet your needs. At the same time, it also allows us to produce parts that would be difficult or impossible with traditional manufacturing methods (for example, being able to create parts out of extremely lightweight but strong materials).

In addition, building boats using additive manufacturing means you can make small batches of boats without having to keep large stocks on hand—something that would be costly and inefficient when using traditional methods. It also means you don't have waste because there are no molds involved: each component is made using only what's needed.

h) Our goal: creating a sustainable future for boating

We partner with customers who share our goal of creating a sustainable future for boating through innovative materials and design. We are proud to offer our customers new technologies that allow them to build their boats in a way that reduces waste, uses fewer natural resources, and has less impact on the environment. We believe in creating new solutions for old problems, and we're excited to offer 3D printed boat parts as one such solution.

We are watching the market closely and will offer boat parts for many different manufacturers and applications in the future. We are always looking for new materials and technologies. Together with our business partners, friends and customers we constantly work on new solutions. We will therefore continue to expand our range of boat parts.

So stay tuned!

We hope you have enjoyed this first article in our series on 3D printed boat parts. Please visit our website to learn more about the process and how it can benefit your business.


Alexander & Roman Reiner Schmidt

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