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Ship Shape Prototypes Produced 70% Faster with In-house 3D Printer

“To traditionally manufacture a prototype ship rudder in wood or plastic is a very skilled and labor-intensive job and typically takes up to three weeks to produce. With our Stratasys in-house 3D Printer, we can produce parts within a day, which after cleaning, are ready for final assembly." Michael Neumeier, Mechanical Design Engineer at Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA)

Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA), a German-based shipping and marine supplier, has reduced lead times for prototype ship model components by 70% and production costs by 30% by bringing Stratasys 3D printing in-house.

The Stratasys Objet Eden350V 3D Printer 
provides in-house production capabilities, reducing lead times by 70%.

Since the installation of its Objet Eden350V 3D Printer, the company has been able to quickly produce strong, high performance plastic prototype parts while reducing production costs and upholding high standards of quality and precision.

“A full-size ship is a complex geometric form with many complicated shapes that have to be re-produced true-to-scale,” explains Michael Neumeier, Mechanical Design Engineer at HSVA. “To traditionally manufacture a prototype ship rudder in wood or plastic is a very skilled and labor-intensive job and typically takes up to three weeks to produce. With our Stratasys in-house 3D Printer, we can produce parts within a day, which after cleaning, are ready for final assembly.

Assembly of a Stratasys 3D printed rudder, which can be 
produced much faster than with traditional fabrication methods

With in-house production capabilities, HSVA has far more flexibility to respond to last minute customer requests. For example, one of the most advanced marine propulsion systems is the azimuth propulsion drive (also known as “Pods”), typically very difficult to produce and assemble. The Pods features a strut which needs to be removed in order to change the gearbox.  A prototype design for the strut was 3D printed, allowing fast access and repair.

“Being able to print the various parts on our Stratasys 3D Printer makes assembly much easier. This has seen us slash lead times by as much as 70%, which has resulted in significant cost reduction of around 30%,” he adds.

3D printed rudder, produced in rigid opaque 
VeroGray material on the Stratasys Objet Eden350V 3D Printer

HSVA’s 3D printed components are produced using VeroGray, a rigid opaque material which provides excellent dimensional stability, finer details, and smooth surfaces.  A unique combination of extreme precision and high material strength enables VeroGray models to withstand the rigorous testing procedures undertaken by the company.

“The integration of our additive manufacturing solutions at HSVA in Germany and the incredible difference it is making to their design and production process is indicative of the efficiencies enjoyed by customers across a host of industries,” says Andy Middleton, President of Stratasys EMEA, “Material advancements in particular enable the production of tough, realistic prototypes that can endure rigorous functional testing during the development phase.”

The privately-managed and independent Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) has provided research and consultancy services to the worldwide maritime industry for over a century. The company has influenced and led developments of testing technology, methods, standardization and numerical procedures to solve complex hydrodynamical and structural problems during the development of new ships and other maritime objects. 

Stratasys 3D Printers are available in Australia and New Zealand from Objective3D, a complete 3D Printing Solutions provider. From 3D Printers, 3D Parts, 3D Scanners including Printer Maintenance services and consumables for Stratasys 3D printers, Objective3D is the largest distributor of Stratasys 3D Printers across Australia and New Zealand, and were recently awarded the Stratasys Customer Satisfaction and Support Award for 2013 for the Asia Pacific region. 

Objective3D is also a total solutions provider of 3D printing and custom manufacturing through the the largest additive manufacturing centre in the southern hemisphere - Objective3D Advanced Manufacturing Centre, powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines provides the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions.

For more details, visit or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS)  09-801 0380 (NZ)

Article source: Stratasys Blog

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