Sparks fly! The WAAMpeller is the world’s first class-approved ship’s propeller created using 3D printing technology
Photo: Damen Shipyards Gorinchem
It took precisely 298 layers of nickel aluminum bronze alloy and a huge team effort to produce: the world’s first class-approved 3D printed ship’s propeller. The name of the 1.35 meter high triple-blade propeller, the WAAMpeller, is a reference to the production process used to create this high-performance precision component, Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing. As shown in the picture, the propeller was made using a software-controlled welding machine. The machine is based in a lab at the Port of Rotterdam, where the port’s operator is conducting research on the potential of 3D printing techniques for the production of vessel components. Under the watchful eyes of the certifiers from Bureau Veritas, the WAAMpeller successfully passed a range of stringent tests, including crash stop trials on a Damen Stan tug boat. Damen Shipyards Group is also one of the driving forces behind this project.