The latest innovation in manufacturing, additive manufacturing (AM), is the fabrication of a part by adding material layer by layer. AM technologies can reshape the way parts are designed and constructed. The rapid development of this technology has indicated that the marine and offshore industries may benefit from the capability of AM to produce new or replacement parts. This advisory provides an overview of metal AM technologies, technical challenges and tradeoffs, changes to the design process, quality, reliability and the role of ABS.
Additive manufacturing is also known as 3-D printing and offers the ability to produce a low number of complex parts locally, quickly and economically, relative to traditional manufacturing. AM technologies enable design features that are too expensive or impractical using traditional manufacturing techniques such as casting or forging.