AML3D ships 3D printed marine propeller

Published on September 28, 2020 by Carlota V.

The Australian company, AML3D, has shipped a Stainless Steel grade 316L propeller to 3D Printing Corporation (3DPC), a Japanese based 3D printing consultancy firm. Compared to traditional manufacturing technologies, the promise of additive manufacturing is to deliver components and structures that are more cost-effective, and have increased strength. The company to whom it has delivered the marine propeller to is focused on unearthing innovative, industry 4.0 technologies capable of enhancing the manufacturing capabilities of their clients.

Therefore, the additively manufactured propeller will be made available to 3DPC’s marine clients as a showpiece to demonstrate the advantages of AM, and more precisely of AML3D’s WAM technology. The company explains that its Wire Arc Manufacturing technology can manufacture complex, custom propellers with superior strength and shortened delivery times. WAM combines an electric arc as a heat source with metal wire as feedstock to produce free form parts. The wire arc welding technique is integrated with specifically programmed welding robots to manufacture large metal components from 3D CAD to a near shape, which if required is then machine/polished finished.

The marine propeller | Image via AML3D

AML3D comments that their relationship with 3DPC provides a significant opportunity to capitalise on the growing global market for propellers that is anticipated to reach about US$5.4bn by 2022 with considerable demand coming from the APAC region. The purchase order for the showpiece propeller is valued at around $10,000. Andrew Sales, AML3D’s Managing Director comments: “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.”

According to AML3D, WAM technology provides 70% cost savings, 75% increased build speed and 80% waste reduction for materials like aluminium, titanium, nickel alloys and steel. Given that the company manufactures high performance parts that need to meet demanding requirements, without certification, parts cannot be approved for use. In 2018, AML3D became the world’s first facility to receive the “Additive Manufacturing Facility Qualification” to ensure that parts are certified. You can find more information HERE.

The AML3D additive manufacturing system

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