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Dutch firm invests in industrial size 3D printer for maritime industry

Dutch firm invests in industrial size 3D printer for maritime industry
Jake Frith 12 Jan 2018

Royal Roos, a Rotterdam based marine engineering company has entered into a cooperation with 3D printer manufacturer CEAD B.V. to develop and build an industrial size CFAM 3D printer with a view to using it to create components for the maritime industry.

Royal Roos has founded a new company for its 3D printing activities, Royal3D B.V. Royal Roos has contributed to the development of the printer by purchasing the prototype, engineering the printer frame and table and will develop specific 3D printable applications for the maritime industry. The machine has been under development by CEAD since September 2017 and expectations are that it will be ready mid-2018. The machine has a granulate extruder with an hourly extrusion rate of at least 15kg per hour and prints objects with a build volume of up to 4 x 2 x 1.5 metres accurately and fast.

Continuous Fibre Additive Manufacturing (CFAM) technology adds a continuous carbon or glass fibre to the granulate adding considerable strength to the material. Fibre can be added to thermoplastics like PP, PET, ABS, PLA and PEEK. An internal heating mechanism prevents warpage and shrinkage during printing and allows the print to cool down in a controlled way.

Owner of Royal Roos, Fulko Roos, has acknowledged 3D printing opportunities for the maritime industry for quite some time already. However, fast and accurate 3D printing of larger composite parts with sufficient strength in the material was not yet available. Therefore, the timing for cooperation with CEAD could not have been better.

CEAD is founded by two of the four original founders of Leapfrog, Lucas Janssen and Maarten Logtenberg. Leapfrog is specialized in 3D desktop printers. CEAD has been founded in 2014 and focuses merely on the industrial market.

Royal3D has three main pillars, the first being maritime products suitable to be manufactured in carbon reinforced plastics. This consists of research into and testing of the specific material requirements to make 3D printed parts suitable for marine use, together with research institutes, companies focusing on R&D and Classification Societies. Secondly Royal3D can print fibre reinforced plastics upon request for clients. And ultimately Royal3D offers consultancy services to guide companies wanting to start with or transfer to fibre reinforced plastic production, varying from placing printer(s), training employees, set up workshop and IT infrastructure and finally supplying machines and storage options for print consumables.