Shipbuilders, rejoice. Netherlands-based CEAD is taking additive manufacturing to the high seas by creating an industrial-scale 3D-printer with the select purpose of helping shipbuilders construct yachts more quickly and affordably.
CEAD is currently in the process of developing the Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing (CFAM) 3D printer, which will reportedly be capable of producing 55 pounds of printed material per hour. The industrial printer will be able to print boat parts approximately as large as 13 feet by 7 feet by 5 feet. These parts will be composed of either plastic granule or engineering plastic. The reinforced plastics will be specifically made and tested for seaworthiness.
The CFAM printer will employ the continuous fiber method of additive manufacturing and will be able to print 24 hours a day. CEAD is still awaiting a patent, but the development of the CFAM prototype is well underway. Royal Roos, a marine engineering producer, and consultant company, has assisted CEAD in developing the technology and is expected to be one of the first companies to utilize the CFAM printer upon the prototype’s expected release in mid-2018.
The project has been made possible by CEAD founders Maarten Logtenberg and Lucas Janssen. The duo previously worked together for Dutch 3D-printing company Leapfrog before breaking away to form the company that would be a stark contrast from Leapfrog’s non-industrial, pint-sized printers. Now, Logtenberg and Janssen’s professional ambitions are matched by the size of the CFAM printer which they hope will change the way maritime parts are produced.
At the moment, we are taking in just three more orders, beside the two orders we already have for machines being built in 2019, Logtenberg said. These first customers will have several benefits, and are going to be the first companies that will make use of this new technology, giving them a competitive advantage.