The world’s first 3D printed offshore crane hook, manufactured Huisman, has successfully passed its load test of 80 metric tons and all associated quality control checks.
Crane hooks are typically manufactured by casting or forging techniques.
The 3D printing technology, however, catches up to what could become the new future manufacturing technology.
Huisman actively employs the 3D printing technique Wire & Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) to produce mid-size to large components with high-grade tensile steel, including a large four-prong hook, with an own printed weight close to 1,000 kilograms.
An important benefit for larger crane hooks is the significant reduction in delivery time at a cost that competes with forgings and castings, and a more consistent level of quality.
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WAAM can be used for crane hooks, but also allows Huisman to manufacture other components with complex shapes, short delivery times or local alternative material properties, to improve for example wear and corrosion resistance.
The positive WAAM test results enable Huisman to manufacture reliable components that were physically impossible or commercially infeasible to produce before.
Huisman aims to further improve the WAAM process by reducing the cost price for this technique and to increase manufacturing capabilities up to items of 2,500kg printed weight.