Industrial Design Solutions

How 3D Printing is Advancing Marine Manufacturing

  • |  Rapid Prototypes in Under 24 Hours
  • |  Cut costs by up to 90% compared to machining
  • |  Versatile tools for every stage of product development
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3D printed submarine parts ISE

With its ability to fabricate intricate designs, such as propellers, impellers, and turbine blades, 3D printing revolutionizes the production of underwater equipment, making it possible to achieve superior performance previously impossible through traditional manufacturing

3D printing technology has brought about significant advancements in the American Marine Manufacturing industry.  Industrial 3D Print technology facilitates the rapid and cost-effective construction of complex parts using lightweight, water-worthy thermoplastics, composites, and metals. This contributes to minimizing vessel and equipment downtime by offering efficient and economical repair solutions for parts damaged at sea. Furthermore, it caters to the unique needs of marine researchers by producing custom sensor housings capable of withstanding high-pressure subsea conditions and by enabling the development of prototypes for cutting-edge research tools used in the exploration of marine life and underwater ecosystems. 

3D printed display console

Precision Prototypes

3D printing revolutionizes rapid prototyping in marine manufacturing by offering unmatched speed, cost-efficiency, and design flexibility. This technology's versatility in material selection ensures prototypes meet the demands of the harsh marine environment, while its inherent sustainability reduces waste. Consequently, 3D printing accelerates marine component and vessel development, enhancing industry competitiveness and driving innovation.

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submarine parts 3D printed

UL-94 & Corrosion Resistant Materials

Advanced materials including UL-94-rated materials & FST-compliant materials provide fire resistance and minimize smoke and toxic emissions during fire incidents, enhancing safety in confined spaces. Corrosion-resistant materials, typically made from 3D printed stainless steel, ensure the durability and longevity of marine components exposed to harsh saltwater, reducing maintenance costs and ensuring the reliability of critical systems.

 

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canadian 3D printing network

North American Marine Manufacturing

Marine designers can quickly iterate and adapt their designs, reducing the carbon footprint linked to long-distance shipping by manufacturing locally in North America. Forge Labs empowers marine designers be more agile, environmentally friendly, and responsive to local needs. Lead times are reduced through rapid prototyping and production of components without the need for long shipping times.

 

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How to Work With Us

Our Digital Manufacturing Process

Forge Labs' instant quoting platform helps strengthen your supply chain and obtain custom parts tailored to your needs—whether for prototyping, R&D, validation, or full-scale production. Leverage our advanced capabilities and virtually limitless capacity to accelerate your timelines and consistently meet innovation deadlines. Get end-use parts and prototypes printed directly from CAD files in as little as 1-4 business days. This time efficiency allows for additional rounds of testing, resulting in improved designs and reduced risks prior to tooling investment. Our extensive selection of materials gives designers the flexibility to experiment with everything from soft rubbers to flame-resistant plastics and metals.

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Upload your CAD file

Securely upload your CAD file to our online quoting platform. Get instant quotes or work with our 3D printing experts to ensure the best material for your project.
 

Get an Instant Quote

Configure your material specifications, quantities & lead time that suits your schedule and needs. When ready, place your order by credit card or purchase order.
 

Start Manufacturing

Manufacturing begins at your nearest production hub. Once complete, quality engineers inspect every part and approve it for delivery.
 

Delivery Next Day

We ship direct to you on next day to every major city across North America. Choose to pickup locally at one of our manufacturing hubs in select locations.
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Solutions for Marine Product Design


Unlocked Design Freedom

3D printing provides marine manufacturing designers with unparalleled design freedom by enabling the creation of intricate and complex geometries, lightweight structures, and custom components tailored to specific needs. For example, manufacturers can use 3D printing to create lattice structures or honeycomb patterns that are lightweight yet strong, or to incorporate internal channels for cooling or fluid flow. Design flexibility also enables manufacturers to create components with complex internal structures or features such as components with integrated cavities, channels, or other features that would be difficult or impossible to create using traditional manufacturing methods. With 3D printing, designers can push the boundaries of conventional marine component and vessel design, driving innovation, efficiency, and customization while addressing the industry's unique challenges and requirements.

3D printed car dash
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Advanced 3D Printing Materials

Designers in marine manufacturing benefit from an array of advanced 3D printing materials tailored to the marine environment's demanding conditions. These materials include high-performance plastics like ASA as well as Stainless Steel and Titanium which resist saltwater and UV exposure. Nylon and polyamide offer exceptional toughness and chemical resistance, while stainless steel ensures corrosion resistance. Aluminum alloys provide a combination of low weight and strength, carbon fiber-reinforced composites deliver high strength-to-weight ratios, and materials like PEEK and ULTEM offer resistance to chemicals and extreme temperatures.  These material choices empower designers to optimize components for specific marine challenges, ensuring durability and performance.


Precision Rapid Protoyping

Rapid prototyping through 3D printing streamlines the iterative design process. Customization is also enhanced, allowing designers to tailor components precisely to specific requirements or unique vessel configurations. Designers can quickly transform digital concepts into physical prototypes, enabling the creation and testing of multiple iterations within a short timeframe. Real-time feedback on performance, buoyancy, corrosion resistance, and structural integrity informs designers' decisions, facilitating on-the-fly adjustments and improvements to digital designs. Additionally, rapid prototyping can also improve communication and collaboration between different teams or stakeholders involved in the product development process. By providing a physical representation of the design, rapid prototyping can help to clarify design concepts and facilitate discussions around functionality, aesthetics, and other design considerations. This cost-efficient optimization process significantly reduces the risk of design flaws and expedites the time-to-market for marine components and vessels. 

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On-Demand Production of Water-Worthy Parts

 Industrial designers can now produce parts or products precisely when and where they are needed, eliminating the necessity for maintaining large inventories and long, complex supply chains. This transformation brings several advantages, such as reduced storage costs, lower risk of overproduction and waste, and the ability to respond rapidly to changes in demand or design modifications. On-demand production can lead to a reduction in waste and environmental impact, as it allows for the production of only the necessary components, rather than over-producing and potentially discarding excess parts. This can be particularly important in the marine industry, where environmental concerns are often a key consideration. Overall, on-demand production offers several advantages for marine manufacturers, including cost savings, increased flexibility and responsiveness, and a reduction in waste and environmental impact. This makes it a powerful tool for improving the efficiency and sustainability of the marine manufacturing process.

 

 
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Case Studies in Marine Design

3D Printing Drill enclosures

Replacing Traditional Manufacturing with 3D Printing

International Submarine Engineering has been able to replace traditionally machined parts on their newest Explorer class AUVs with 3D printed parts from Forge Labs - reducing turnaround time on complex parts, lowering costs, and allowing more freedom of design.

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3D Printing Drill enclosures

3D Printed Mold Tools with PolyJet 3D Printing

How International Submarine Engineering used PolyJet to rapidly manufacture mold tools to create a number of components on their AUV.

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