Additive manufacturing and opportunities in the offshore energy sector
The Periscope Network has undertaken a desktop-based benchmarking study which aims to provide a review of currently available literature in Additive Manufacturing (AM), in the context of wind blades, tidal blades and vessels (thus termed the ‘blue economy’). The primary focus is on 3D printing, and the scale of the print processes. This has resulted in a technology road map which highlight further research questions beyond the current state-of-the-art. Currently, additive manufacturing excels in rapid prototyping, however it is highly desirable to move beyond rapid prototyping of designs towards manufacture of key load bearing structures. Currently the main barriers to this are the material mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness as well as maintaining optimal physical properties favourable for printing at high deposition rates.