A project aimed at reducing the weight of ship structures has been taken to the second, developmental stage through UK Government funding. Large-scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) technologies are pivotal to the MariLight 2 endeavour, which has been awarded support from the Department of Transport (DfT) under the latest round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC4).

MariLight2 entails cross-industry collaboration by eight organisations, under the project management of Malin Marine Consultants, part of the Govan (Glasgow)-based Malin Group. Five of the partners worked together on the original, CMDC2-sponsored MariLight study into the feasibility of adopting LSAM. Key objectives had been a 13% weight saving in newbuild construction, plus substantial reductions in manufacturing lead time, production time, associated costs and carbon impact.

The concept of ‘lightweighting’ also addresses challenges presented by the introduction of ‘green’ propulsion solutions by lessening the total power required to propel a vessel, while improving efficiency and increasing the ship’s range.

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