Sander is leveraging on some 35 years of experience in the aviation industry to explore the world of 3D printing or - to use its more precise title - Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM). Due to the volume of ALM parts in the new Airbus A350 aircraft, Airbus has unrivalled know-how in this technology.
Sander began his speech by showing images of his own classic yacht from the 1960s which he has restored himself and has enjoyed sailing for the past 20 years. Moving swiftly from past through present to the future, he explained how 3D printing has experienced remarkable growth over the past three years.
“3D printing is set to change a great many business models and everyone needs to speed up their research into this technology,” he said, citing examples such as the bionic bridge being built in Amsterdam by robots, gold pens in the United Kingdom and even the James Bond car in the latest movie.
“The fact that the FAA is now certifying engine parts made with 3D printing proves beyond doubt that authorities recognise ALM as a solid technology for the future. It offers weight savings of between 30 to 35%, a reduction in tooling costs of as high as 90%, much faster production times and a far greater degree of creative freedom.”
The revolution is underway
Sanders made clear that the industrial 3D printing revolution has well and truly started and you could almost hear the audience’s brains ticking over as he used illustrations from the yachting world to make the point. These included a 3D printed cleat that had been fitted on his boat which weighed only 260 grams instead of the normal 1.6 kilograms.
“Major boat building areas that can already benefit from ALM technology include hydraulics, cooling units, plastic functional parts, and large sections that are 50% less complex to create in aluminium. There is also a direct impact on the way new products are developed. Instead of having to have the entire design parameters ready before going into production, you can make a 3D version in 48 hours, see how the design works in practice and then make a new one based on those experiences.”
Innovation is key
Sander concluded his speech by looking at how to practically move forward. “The key is innovation - finding the right ideas and disruptive idea owners,” he said. “General Electric recently asked the world at large for ideas on how to design a particular part and received no less than 700 responses from 65 different countries. The winning design came from Indonesia and resulted in a weight reduction of some 84%. This is a total game changer when it comes to sourcing innovation and making the most of the massive potential of 3D printing.”
About the METSTRADE show
The METSTRADE show is the flagship event of METSTRADE, the world’s leading platform for professionals in the leisure marine equipment industry. The world’s largest trade exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry is organised by RAI Amsterdam in association with of ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations). The METSTRADE show features conferences, events and three dedicated specialist pavilions: the SuperYacht Pavilion, the Marina & Yard Pavilion and the Construction Material Pavilion. In 2015 the METSTRADE show will run from 17 to 19 November in the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.