Japan-based Classification Society ClassNK has released its “Guidelines for Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)” that summarise the approval requirements for metallic marine equipment by additive manufacturing technology as part of its effort to meet the industry’s demand for a third-party certification for marine equipment manufactured with an advanced technology.
Additive manufacturing technology is a method for manufacturing by laminating and combining materials such as resin and metal based on 3D model data. Its feature is the capability to mould complex and high-precision shapes.
In recent years, the use of additive manufacturing technology has rapidly expanded in manufacturing metallic products, particularly in automotive, aerospace and medical care industries. Although there are few examples of the use of this technology in the maritime industry, it is expected that metallic products by additive manufacturing technology will become widespread in the future as most marine equipment includes metallic components.
To ensure safety and proper use of the technology in the maritime industry, the guidelines specify the approval requirements for the feedstock used in metallic marine equipment by additive manufacturing technology, the manufacturing process, and the test and inspection for the products.
Furthermore, the guidelines summarise the terminology, type, and features of the technology to be used as an introduction to additive manufacturing technology, and include the information about the characteristics and the management method of metallic powder used in additive manufacturing as appendices.