Yes, we can print a 100kg steel body of a centrifugal pump.
We already mentioned in our previous article that a common misconception regarding industrial 3D printing is that 3D printing is limited to the production of plastic models and prototypes. In the text below we are going to delve a little deeper into the palette of materials available for 3D printing of marine parts through our 3D printing service specialized in the naval sector.
Let us start by going straight to the point: yes, we can print, per example, a 100kg steel body of a centrifugal pump.
The materials available for 3D printing have expanded so much that it’s now possible to print parts and components for almost any application. At 3Dock we regularly print with various industrial grade plastic materials, which allow us to produce functional parts with good performance. However, steel, stainless steel, aluminium, Inconel, and copper are also materials in our portfolio with which we can produce parts of an equivalent or higher grade than their foundry produced predecessors, with a lead time of between 1 and 6 weeks, depending on the application.
Now let us make a short introduction to some common technical polymers we work with for 3D printing marine parts:
- Nylon (PA): Nylon is a strong, flexible, and durable material that is commonly used in 3D printing for mechanical applications. It is resistant to impact, abrasion, and chemicals, making it ideal for use in marine environments. Nylon is also relatively easy to print with and is available in a range of colors.
- Polycarbonate (PC): Polycarbonate is a strong and durable material that is commonly used in 3D printing for applications that require high strength and impact resistance. It is also resistant to heat and chemicals, making it also ideal for use in marine environments.
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): ABS is a commonly used material for 3D printing in a variety of industries, and we include it in our maritime 3D printing service. It is a strong and durable material that is resistant to impact, heat, and chemicals. It also exist in flame retardant versions.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG): PETG is a strong and flexible material that is resistant to impact and chemicals. It is easy to print with and we use it in some applications. However, it is not as strong as some other materials and may not be suitable for all uses.
- Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP): CFRP is a composite material that combines the strength and stiffness of carbon fiber with the flexibility of polymers. It is commonly used in 3D printing for applications that require low deformation.
And here are some of our available metals for 3D printing in the maritime industry:
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is a strong and durable metal that is resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for use in marine environments. We mostly print with marine grade 316L.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight and strong metal, resistant to corrosion and suitable for use in marine environments. Aluminum is commonly used in 3D printing for several mechanical components.
- Inconel: Inconel is a high-strength, heat-resistant metal that can be used in 3D printing for maritime applications that require high-temperature resistance.
- Copper: Copper is a versatile metal that is corrosion-resistant and has good electrical and thermal conductivity.
Words may sound better or worse, but at 3Dock we work with numbers.
Without wasting any more time, what are we talking about when we say “good performance”, “strong” or “equivalent properties”? Well, here is a table of mechanical properties of common 3D printed materials in ranges. The final values depend on the supplier of the material and the technology used, mainly.
|Tensile Strength (MPa)
|Hardness (Shore D or HRC)
|70-110 (Rockwell M)
|70-110 (Rockwell M)
|40-60 Shore D
Words may sound better or worse, but at 3Dock we work with numbers. We do this because we need them to compute topological optimizations and simulate load responses in specific applications, or to compare mechanical test results with nominal values. At 3Dock, we provide to our customers a guide to the mechanical properties of the materials we offer, making it easier for our customers to select the right material for their specific application.
3Dock’s expertise in maritime applications allows to provide your company with printing services for parts and components ranging in size from small, intricate parts that weigh only a few grams to large, complex parts that can weigh several hundred kilograms. With their advanced printing capabilities, they can produce high-quality, customized parts that are tailored to specific requirements and needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about our 3D printing services or have a project you’d like to discuss, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your goals.