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RAMLAB develops first 3D-printed marine propeller

The 3D printing field lab RAMLAB (Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing LAB) is working together with partners Damen Shipyards Group, Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas on the development of the world’s first 3D-printed marine propeller. They expect to print the first propeller of this type, which will be tested on a Damen ship, in the summer of 2017.

“Our aim is to construct more effective, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly vessels. This project contributes to these goals,” says Damen’s Principle Research Engineer Don Hoogendoorn. The propeller will be based on a Promarin design used in the Damen Stan Tug 1606. The 1,300-mm diameter propeller weighs approximately 180 kilogrammes. RAMLAB will be using Autodesk software, and will rely on Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) for the actual printing process.

3D printing in the port of Rotterdam

RAMLAB is the first field lab equipped with 3D metal printers that focuses on the port-related sector. RAMLAB uses 3D metal printing technology (also known as additive manufacturing) to develop knowledge in the field of metal printing, 3D design and certification. RAMLAB is an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, InnovationQuarter and RDM Makerspace. RAMLAB is in line with the Port Authority’s ambition to develop new port activities based on innovation.

The future of ‘on demand’ metal printing

RAMLAB is the first field lab equipped with 3D metal printers that focuses on the port-related sector. It operates a workshop at RDM Rotterdam, where partners work together on a future where unique component scan be printed ‘on demand’. RAMLAB is in line with the Port Authority’s ambition to develop new port activities based on innovation.

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