World first: Rotterdam robot in M4H printed submarine hull prototype

8 February 2016 – Friday 5 February 2016, René Ritmeijer, director of SuGu Advanced Manufacturing | 3D-Robot printing, handed over the first 3D printed submarine hull to commissioning party Filip Jonker, CEO Ortega Submersibles. The handover is a very special step in the process of assembling the prototype for the two-seater submarine. It all happened at the SuGu Warehouse in Rotterdam.

The SuGu Warehouse is the location at which the new manufacturing industry is rapidly developing in Rotterdam. The warehouse, which used to be the old workshop for the E.on gas power station, is home to companies like SuGu Advanced Manufacturing | 3D-Robotprinting, among others. They use a 2-metre robot arm to create unique objects for unique projects. The 3D printing technology enables prototypes to be created fast and easily. These prototypes are often for industry in general or comprise unique objects for interior- and stand-builders.

The vessel was designed by Filip Jonker. The two-seater submarine is six metres long and was a huge challenge for 3D printing. The advantages of being able to alter the design just before and also during the printing process convinced the Ortega team to use this particular production technique. As a result of this choice, the team was able to call upon the broad and wide-ranging experience of foreman Jonker. He had previously crossed the Channel in a cardboard tug-boat that he designed himself and had raced a ceramic car.

Ortega will actually build the submarine which was designed for underwater maintenance work. They will do so at a later stage at their workshop at Airport Twente in Enschede.