3D printing is set to cause ‘turmoil’ in the ship building industry until 2050, according to the National Institute for Shipping and Shipbuilding (NISS).

NISS create blueprint for ship industry’s inclusion of 3D printing

NISS create blueprint for ship industry’s inclusion of 3D printing

The institute has developed a blueprint for the maritime sector until 2050 which aims to help the industry change their approach towards designing and building ships completely in respect to 3D printing.

“The combination of 3D printing, digitalisation and robotization is developing very fast,” explained Geert Schouten at Shipbuilder, who were part of the team responsible for the blueprint.

He continued: “Other sectors are moving ahead quite fast already, so I expect some trendsetters to stand up in the maritime sector soon too. These will completely renew the maritime sector, real innovators, maritime game changers.”

The first digital ship builders will require a whole new approach to the supply of digital information. This means not relying on loose files and emails, NISS believes that this will incredibly become an insufficient solution.

Mr Schouten has delivered multiple workshops surrounding the subject of developing a new vision in the maritime sector.

“During my workshops I often hear the remark that it will take a long time for this disruption to take place, for example because 3D printers can’t print a ship. That is an incorrect way of thinking, because it is based on the current possibilities for designing a ship,” explained Mr Schouten.

He concluded: “With a completely different approach to design and building, many parts of a ship can be 3D printed. Digitalisation, robotization and 3D printing will successfully join forces.”

By Alice Mason