3D-Druck und Additive Fertigung für die Maritime Industrie

New business models for the maritime sector through 3D printing

Leverage the true potential of Additive Manufacturing in the Maritime Sectors

3D printing: A disruptive and promising technology for the maritime industry


3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a manufacturing process that builds layer on layer to create a three-dimensional functional part from a digital model. During the last 20 years, AM has developed into a reliable technology in series, small-batch and prototype production. Industrial applications of AM technologies span a large variety of industries. Currently, the top industries using AM are medical, aerospace, machine building & tooling as well as automotive.

This fast-emerging technology will probably have a disruptive impact on worldwide transportation and logistics chains. It allows for a cost-efficient and reliable local manufacturing of production batches – even in industrialized countries. Potentially, a proportion of foreign production in low-cost countries could be thus ‘near-sourced’ in the proximity of the customers. International trade in final and intermediate products could thus decrease considerably in future.

Ports and shipping companies will also have the opportunity to profit from the tremendous potential of AM by developing new operating strategies, generating new business models or actually becoming a 3D printing hub. Some ports early recognized the potential of AM and started to establish own skills and competences to make use of AM. For example, the Port of Rotterdam acquired metal printers and set up a “FieldLab“ for the development of knowledge in the area of metal printing, 3D scanning, 3D design and certification (1). Germany´s largest port operator, the “Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG“ took over a full-service 3D printing operator to develop new business fields around 3D printing related logistics services (2). The shipping industry is also increasingly adopting AM. For example, RAMLAB unveiled the world first class approved 3D printed ship propeller in 2017 (3). In early February 2020, the bulk carrier ‘“Berge Mafadi“ was one of the world’s first ships to receive a commercial delivery of 3D printed spare parts, including scupper plugs (4).

Identify and leverage the potential of 3D printing in the maritime sector

Despite the growing popularity of AM, many players in the maritime industry are still not fully aware of the potential to be gained from this cutting-edge production technology. Therefore, time is calling for the maritime industry to get ready for the age of Additive Manufacturing and leverage considerable potential, improve operational efficiency and open up new areas of business.

Especially, the provision of spare parts is considered as promising field of application for AM in the maritime sector (5). Besides spare parts, there are dozens of other promising AM business opportunities for the maritime sector, like the fast production of prototypes, the provision of production capacities for external customers (“Manufacturing as a Service”) or the development of new logistics segments with AM. It is worth noting that getting started with AM does not necessarily huge require investments in machines, it could also mean identify and optimize few parts and get the printed externally.

Our approach

We have set the ambitious goal to prepare the maritime industry for the profitable use of Additive Manufacturing. Combing the knowledge in the fields of Additive Manufacturing and the maritime sector, we support you reliably on your journey to explore and implement the benefits using 3D printing in daily operations. Our goal is to find profitable business opportunities for your company, leading to cost savings, operational excellence or even additional revenues streams.

Together with us, you can build up the necessary know how in your company, establish your individual AM introduction strategy and anchor 3D printing effectively in your processes. To provide maximum customer satisfaction, we develop all strategies and processes in a tailored manner to satisfy our clients’ unique needs and ensure that all solutions offered are based on economic considerations.

Why Bionic Production GmbH

We understand ourselves as a full-service provider in the field of Additive Manufacturing, we support you in every development and implementation phase of Additive Manufacturing. It is our mission to improve our Client´s competitive situation. You will benefit from our technological and economic expertise, gathered in industry projects for renowned customers. Besides expertise in Additive Manufacturing, our experts also have deep knowledge in the logistics sector. Since 2019, our company is part of one of Europe´s leading port and transport logistics companies, the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA).


If you are interested in more information, download our Fact Sheet “Maritime Industry” here or contact us for further information!


(1) https://www.portofrotterdam.com/en/business-opportunities/innovation-smartest-port/cases/3d-printing-in-the-port-of-rotterdam

(2) https://www.dvz.de/rubriken/see/haefen/detail/news/hhla-investiert-in-3d-druck.html

(3) https://ramlab.com/updates/ramlab-unveils-worlds-first-class-approved-3d-printed-ships-propeller/

(4) https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/3D-printed-spare-parts-revolutionize-maritime-supply-chain.html

(5) Heinen, J. and Kai H. (2019): Assessing the potential of additive manufacturing for the provision of spare parts, Journal of Operations Management (in press).

(6) https://www.hamburgportconsulting.com/news-en/virtual-chat-for-terminal-operators-on-the-impact-of-covid-19

Additive Serienfertigung von Einspritzdüsen

Success story injection nozzle

Success story injection nozzle

3D printing offers machine builders freedom of design in the component construction. This allows the design of more efficient parts that are manufactured in a cost and resource efficient manner. This applies to the injection nozzles Bionic Production manufactured for the SBM Maschinen GmbH. The components consisted of several individual parts, had a very complex structure and were made of cast iron.

The engineers redesigned the injection nozzle and focused in the engineering process on:

– the integration of functions,

– the integration of several components as well as a

– a production-oriented design

After successfully testing the components in the application, SBM granted the serial production.

Due to the substitution of the manufacturing process from casting to 3D printing, 70 injection nozzles are now assembled on a building platform for a quality assured production. Overall, the costs for the components were reduced by 10 %. Bionic Production accompanied the Bavarian machine builder on the way from the prototype to additive serial production. At present, around 1,500 nozzles are produced annually.


Do you want to optimize your products or do you need help in identifying suitable components? Contact us!

Durch die bedarfsgerechte Additive Fertigung ergeben sich für die Bahnindustrie enorme Potentiale Gechäftsprozesse zu verbessern und Gewinne zu steigern

3D printing as digital railway transformation engine

3D printing: A distruptive and promising technology for the railway industry

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a manufacturing process, that builds layer on layer to create a three-dimensional object from a digital model. AM is already established in some industries, for example in medical, aerospace or machine building and tooling.

This fast-emerging technology is expected to have a disruptive impact on worldwide transportation and logistics chains. It allows for cost-efficient decentralized manufacturing – even in industrialized countries. Related to maintenance and repair of trains and equipment, required components are often no longer available as a replacement or the ordering process is very lengthy. In addition, high charges are often linked to small purchasing quantities. Thus, either high procurement costs arise combined with a high risk of long vehicle downtimes, or even higher costs for storage have to be borne if a large number of different spare parts are kept on stock in combination with infrequent and unpredictable usage patterns.

In contrast, AM allows to exploit new value-added potentials for the railway sector. We can support you to identify and unlock full potential for your company.

Recent use cases from the railway sector show, that it is possible to reduce non-operational times, storage cost and lead time for a spare part bei 90 % each.

Our solution – Identify and leverage the potential of 3D printing in the railway sector

We prepare the railway industry for profitable use of Additive Manufacturing. We can support you reliably on your journey to explore and implement benefits using 3D printing. Togehter with you, we develop a straight forward and tailor made roadmap. By treading this path togheter with us, you will be able to generate new and profitable business opportunities.

We offer support along the whole cycle of AM activities, from idea generation and feasibility analysis, market analysis and strategy development, to the actual implementation of AM in your company. Together with us, you can build up the necessary know how in your company, establish your individual introduction strategy and anchor 3D printing effectively in your processes.

There are dozens of promising AM business opportunities for the railway sector, like production of own spare parts on site, fast production of prototypes, increas in performace of parts, aggregation of assemblies to an integrated manufacturing as single component or lightweight apporaches saving material and thus costs.

Our approach

We apply our proven and structured approach to help railway operators as well as maintenance and repair workshops to improve business processess and to increas profits.

To provide maximum customer satisfaction, we develop all strategies and processes in a tailored manner to satisfy our clients’ unique needs and ensure that all solutions offered are based on economic considerations.

Our comprehensive range of Consulting services cover the entire lifecycle of AM activities.

To guarantee highes quality of our sevices, we use sophisticated tools and methods ranging from lifecycle profitability analysis to re-design and (FEM-based) part optimization as needed.

If you want further information, download our Fact Sheet “Railway industry” here or contact us!

Additive Fertigung von Kühlmitteldüsen / Additive Manufacturing of cooling lubricant nozzles

Success story coolant lubricant nozzle

Successful engineering of a coolant lubricant nozzle for 3D printing
Function integration despite limited space

Additive Manufacturing is a disruptive technology, that enables the production of precise fitting, high-efficient and individual components. The nozzle project we’ve started in 2017 with Grindaix GmbH and TRUMPF shows the possibilities of 3d printing.

The biggest challenge in internal diameter cylindrical grinding lies in the limited space between the part and the tool for the coolant nozzle. Therefore, the lubricoolant required for the grinding is usually injected from the outside. For this purpose the Graindax experts were looking for optimization options in the 3D design of the nozzle.

We took the specifications provided by Graindaix and TRUMPF for the nozzle and created the perfect model in a step-by-step process. Prototype production allowed the team to implement every possible optimization within a reasonable timeframe and budget.

This resulted in a significant cost reduction of 51 % as well as a weight reduction of 25 %.

Follow this link https://www.trumpf.com/en_GB/magazine/form-follows-function-3d-printing-starts-in-your-head/ for the full article on this success project.

3D printing allows engineers completely new ways in the design of products. One of the strengths is the function integration. However, this means to leave the beaten path and requires a shift in thinking. Bionic Production helps with that!

If you are looking to improve your knowledge in Additive Manufacturing, need help in the engineering process or are looking for a reliable partner in 3D printing your parts – contact us!

3D-Druck und Additive Fertigung in Lüneburg

New business models for logistic companies

3D printing opens up many new business opportunities for logistics companies. Dr.-Ing. Maike Grund reveals in an interview with the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG the possibilities and limits of Additive Manufacturing.

She is explaining how Bionic Design can optimize a component, what advantages Additive Manufacturing has over conventional manufacturing methods and how 3D-printing can have a positive effect on the supply chain.

Click here to read the full interview.

3D-Druck Maschinenpark Selective Laser Melting

Expansion of our machine pool

Both in February and April we further increased our machine pool in order to be ready for future requirements.

Since two months we have a FANUC Europe ROBOCUT 2-C600iB EDM machine. With this machine we can now carry out another part of the post-processing of our 3d-printed parts in-house and thus produce even more flexible.

In April we expanded our production capacity with yet another Lasertec 30 SLM von DMG MORI. Through this we are minimizing the material change for the individual machines. This enables us to handle 3d-printing jobs even more and therefore we are well prepared for the future beyond COVID-19!

We now also have an X7 3D-Drucker from Markforged at our disposal. That way we can supply our customers even faster with extremly strong and thus highly resilient spare parts.


Additive Fertigung von Bauteilen und Komponenten mit Selective Laser Melting

Optimize your spare part management with parts on demand

Our “Parts on demand” service ist a great alternative to regular stock keeping.

After identifying your spare parts through Part Screening, we produce test prints to validate production parameters as well as relevant information about cost and lead times.

We then catalogue your components so that you can order them directly online. That way you avoid excessive stock keeping and long delivery times.

Click here for more information!

Part Screening und Bauteilidentifizierung

Part Screening for a successful 3D print

Are my parts suitable for 3D printing?

We are analysing your portfolio with our systematic Part Screening.
Using CAD-data, material and cost information as well as part dimensions and functions, we identify suitable components and/or assemblies.

Click here for more details!

Radaufhängungen im Motorsportbereich für das Rennteam der Universität Stuttgart

3D lightweight flexure joints for the Stuttgart University racing team

The F0711-13 race car from the University of Stuttgart was able to prevail against competitors from all over the world at the Speedway Michigan and won the FSAE Michigan competition for the fourth time in a row, after 2016, 2017 and 2018. The racing team thus continued to secure first place in the world rankings of the international Formula Student Combustion competition. Congratulations!

This winning car is the only 3D printed component in the series. More precisely, there are 4 parts per race car. We are pleased that we were able to contribute to the success of the racing team with the so-called “Flexure Joints”. The parts are made of titanium and were printed without distortion in 15 hours.

The advantages of the additive component are obvious: In addition to a flow-neutral wishbone, there was a 48% weight saving and 33% better flow to the side boxes.

We at Bionic Production were pleased to contribute our expertise in the additive production of titanium components for the F00711-13 racing car and its successor, the F0711-14. A special manufacturing strategy for titanium makes it possible to build flexure joints and other titanium components with high quality and process reliability.

We wish everyone from the Stuttgart racing team continued success!

All details about this successful project can be read here.

Bremssattel für den Bugatti Chiron mit fertigungsgerechter Konstruktion durch Bionic Production

Testing the world’s first 3D printed Bugatti brake caliper

The world’s largest 3D printed titanium pressure functional component ever produced on one of the most powerful brake test benches on the market! This is what it looks like when Bugatti prepares its first printed titanium brake caliper for series production.

Here can you find the video.

Be curious, the history of the brake caliper continues together with us.
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