The Dutch Navy is investing in 3D printing technology


.. INTAMSYS 3D printers were used to make spare parts ..

3D printing is becoming an increasingly key technology for the Dutch Navy. With 3D printing of parts on frigates, they will be less dependent on complex logistics operations.

Their latest acquisition is AMCOD, a mobile service center integrated into a standard container. Within an hour of installation anywhere in the world, defense units can begin 3D printing of polymer parts. The Intamsys Funmat PRO 410 3D printer is used to make spare parts.

When the ship leaves the port of Den Helder, there are about 30,000 spare parts on board. These are necessary for the operation of the ship on the mission. The parts consist of engine components, rocket protective covers and water filters. “If we could sprint 10% of these parts, we would significantly improve the logistics,” says Max Nijpels, who works in the maintenance department of the Royal Dutch Navy.

A step towards quality spare parts

Trained ship’s personnel can obtain parts from the MARAMEX central library at sea or draw new ones. They also want to print spare parts for the engine compartment where temperatures are very high. This requires 3D printing with advanced polymers such as polycarbonates, PEKK, PEEK and PACF. For this purpose, they bought Funmat PRO 410 3D printers.

Open platform and stable printing results

They had three criteria when choosing a high-temperature 3D printer: open platform, free choice of materials, and ease of use. “INTAMSYS 3D printers allow us to print 3D with polycarbonate or PEKK as easily as printing PLA material. The printer manufacturer has found the right balance in terms of temperature control, so as to ensure a sufficiently high temperature for good adhesion of the layers, while at the same time the piece does not crumble due to overheating. “

Openness to certification procedures

INTAMSYS offers customers the use of proven filaments from major manufacturers. However, they can also use filaments of different brands and develop their own settings. The Navy wants to be completely independent in the choice of materials. “In the future, we want to certify our processes. Some parts require a Loyyds / DNV certificate. So we need to know what raw materials are used to make the material, ”explains Max Nijpels. INTAMSYS offers a free choice of material, and the user can set all the parameters himself. When these are ready or if the Navy takes over the profile of one of INTAMSYS partners, 3D printing of high temperature materials is as easy as PLA printing.

AM container

To reduce dependence on logistics supply chains, they developed AMCOD for all defense units in the Netherlands. The container contains three CAD workstations and three FFF 3D printers, one of which is the Intamsys Funmat PRO 410.

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