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Expanded Onboard 3D Printing Technology Improve The Harsh Marine Working Environment

Apr 13, 2019

Polar waters, icy environments and seemingly harsh environments make the Arctic one of the most difficult marine environments to work with, especially in ships and marine technology. This complexity requires some risk-based design and framework to achieve safe and sustainable technologies that can survive in harsh ecosystems. The navigation conditions in the Arctic or Antarctic waters are very difficult, and offshore oil rigs and fleets are facing a test in the harsh oceans, prompting governments and companies to incorporate additive manufacturing into structures that are built to survive severe ocean conditions. In 2014, the US Navy began to consider installing 3D printers on board. They envisioned a not too distant future. They could print spare parts, small combat drones, and even organs or other body parts on naval vessels in the sea. When the US Coast Guard used 3D printers to make parts on board in 2017, these parts are usually not stored on board and may even be difficult to purchase. Currently, 3D printers are available to crew members for the use of five Coast Guard cutting machines and several onshore units, including Base New Orleans and Baltimore's Surface Forces Logistics Center Engineering Services.


Similarly, Coast Guard Academy professor Ron Adrezin used the technology for operations in remote areas. A 420-foot icebreaker performs research missions in the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. On the other hand, the International Submarine Engineering (ISE) uses Sciaky's electron beam additive manufacturing technology to manufacture titanium variable ballast tanks (VB) for Arctic submarines. It's all about getting a 3D printer to work and creating some hard-to-get parts on the spot, when bad weather makes the boat unable to move, when a severe storm destroys something in the ocean or iceberg threatens the whole These parts really come in handy when you are on the fleet.


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In 2015, Fleetway's subsidiary, the Canadian company Oceanic Consulting Corporation, used 3D printing to create custom replacement parts and modified them to study and improve many R&D projects for marine, fixed and floating offshore structures. The company is located in St. John's, Newfoundland, and has implemented some ambitious projects using 3D technology. They constantly need to build accurate scale models and simulate real-world environments to equip the ocean with the perfect 3D printer. Oceanic's research and design team is dedicated to improving the safety of vessels sailing in harsh sea ice environments, managing extremely cold temperatures and huge ice loads. Combining the expertise of mechanical engineering, experimental research and numerical simulation of Arctic engineering with 3D printing technology may be what they need to increase efficiency and reduce project costs.


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In 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US Department of Commerce attempted to perform 3D printing in a dynamic environment. This attempt went even further. They sent a team in 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US Department of Commerce (NOAA). Trying to do 3D printing in a dynamic environment, this attempt goes even further, they sent a team to board the ship Okeanos control, equipped with a stereolithography (SLA) printer - it uses ultraviolet (UV) Curing liquids and laser layer-by-layer solidified liquids to map the shallow waters of the Caribbean and South Atlantic. The harsh marine environment is a challenge for engineers and designers who need to develop technologies that help ships, marine structures and teams work in some of the worst environments on Earth. 3D printing technology can be used inside the ship to restore and create spare parts, and even life can be changed on board. Boarded the ship Okeanos Warrants, equipped with a Stereo Lithography (SLA) printer that uses ultraviolet (UV) curing liquids and laser layer-by-layer solidifying liquids to map the shallow waters of the Caribbean and South Atlantic. The harsh marine environment is a challenge for engineers and designers who need to develop technologies that help ships, marine structures and teams work in some of the worst environments on Earth. 3D printing technology can be used inside the ship to restore and create spare parts, and even life can be changed on board.