Modular RoRo deck

Modular decks for RoRo vessels (non-metallic)

Custom-made hull

Custom made hull for offshore vessel

Fully outfitted and modularised cabin

Multi material lightweight cabin for passenger ships

Panel system (bio-based and other)

Lightweight components for high loads and fire class

Composite block on steel deck

Composite superstructure module on steel deck for multi purpose vessels

Versatile walls

Integration of system for internal walls and superstructure
of cruise ships into shipyard processes

Lightweight rudder flap

Lightweight rudder flap

3D-printed propeller blade

Propeller blades by additive manufacturing

Panel system (truss structure)

Modular light system for less critical internal walls and superstructure

Aluminium composite panels

Lightweight aluminium and composite walls for work boats

High tensile steel decks

Lightweight decks using high tensile steel in cruise ships

Design details (high tensile steel)

Highly loaded structural details from high tensile steel
in passenger and research vessels

Patch repair - composite overlays

Composite overlay to repair and improve metallic and
non-metallic structures

RoRo deck

custom-made hull

cabin system

aluminium panels


versatile walls

rudder flap

propeller blade

truss structures

bio-based panels

steel decks

steel details

patch repair

Propeller blades by additive manufacturing

State of the Art

Large propellers are currently cast from metal, while composite propellers are occasionally used in smaller dimensions. Additive Manufacturing technology is developed at lab scale and in industrial applications for highly complex parts (e.g. aero-engines) and where weight is extremely critical (airplanes). 3D-printing of large parts (> 1m) with complex twisted skins and closed cavities is limited to several lab scale experiments. Fatigue properties and productivity are too poor to satisfy maritime needs.


Develop a representative blade propeller demonstrator and identify fabrication risks to mitigate before introducing this solution on the market. Choosing Additive Manufacturing (AM) for production to provide great benefits for the entire production value chain.


The demonstrator propeller blade foresees development and proof of feasibility of a highly productive and reliable Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process using different metal alloys, e.g. cupro-aluminium, martensitic or duplex steels. The process will feature a high deposit volume and a defect free and cost-efficient process. The demonstrator, coming as a propeller blade with 1.5-2 m diameter and less weight through internal cavities, will be tested against fatigue and corrosion, while hydrodynamic properties will be assessed by numerical simulation.

Within the scope of the project, a hollow blade demonstrator was designed, manufactured and tested. The size of the demonstrator (1,5m to 2m blade) is sufficient to allow an extrapolation of the use of the WAAM process to propellers of a larger size, allowing to address globally the propeller market. The first in the world of simplified demonstrative blade produced and showed the capability of the WAAM process to manufacture a hollow blade in 3-axis. An increasing number of the axis is necessary to manufacture the final representative of the hollow blade. Characterisation tests have been performed on specimens taken from test blocks. Results from metallographic examination, tensile tests, hardness tests, impact bending tests and corrosion test show that WAAM material has a better behaviour compared to equivalent casting material with the same chemical composition.


Additive Manufacturing processes for large structures will be enabled with significant efficiency improvements and cost reduction useable in other maritime applications and industries, such as general engineering, offshore etc. Design freedom arising from additive manufacturing bears immense potential across sectors. Proof of functional and economic feasibility for maritime real-scale applications will have a catalysing effect in the use of this technology. Propeller blades have wide application in maritime and energy sectors.