In the first week of 2018, the world’s first 3D printed offshore crane hook, manufactured by the worldwide provider of step changing technical solutions Huisman, successfully passed its load test (80mt) and all associated quality control checks according to the strictest criteria. Crane hooks are typically manufactured by casting or forging techniques. Huisman’s 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 4-prong hook, with an own printed weight close to 1,000kg. 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.
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 testresults enable Huisman to manufacture reliable components that were physically impossible or commercially infeasible to produce before. In the near future 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.