Video: World's First Installed 3D-Printed Crane Hook

Images courtesy Huisman

Published May 7, 2019 3:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Huisman has delivered the first ever class certified, 3D-printed crane hooks. After load testing at more than double their safe working load, the 3D-printed hooks were certified for offshore use according ABS standards.

The OOS Serooskerke will be the first vessel ever in history on which a 3D-printed crane hook is installed. Her sister vessel, the OOS Walcheren, will also be equipped with a 36 tonne SWL 3D-printed crane hook. Both hooks were produced at Huisman’s Czech Republic facility.

Normally, crane hooks are manufactured by casting or forging techniques. 3D printing has an advantage for  larger crane hooks: the new manufacturing method has a much shorter delivery time than forging and casting, and it can be done at a competitive price with a consistent level of quality. Huisman says that the recent delivery is an important first step in developing industry acceptance for 3D-printed products for the maritime and offshore industry. 

Huisman engineer Hugo Romer, who led the work on the project at Huisman's test center in China, wrote his masters thesis on “Wire & Arc additive manufacturing for offshore appliances” just two years ago. He started as an engineer at Huisman's R&D Department but was soon promoted to Supervisor Test Centre at Huisman China, where he was tasked with transforming the 3D hook from an idea into a working, reliable product. 

The Huisman R&D team researched the 3D-printed material's qualities, including strength and fatigue, and examined it for possible anisotropy (different material properties in different dimensional directions). Last year, Huisman successfully load tested the world’s first 3D printed offshore crane hook to 80 tonnes, and its work has now culminated in the first installed 3D-printed crane hook in the world.