The idea is to install a 3D printer on a tanker vessel to allow the crew to 'print out' spare parts on demand. "We can send the blueprint to the crew on board the tanker vessel, and they will simply push "print," and in a matter of hours they get the part they need." said Märtha Josefine Rehnberg, Category Manager at Maersk Procurement.
Considering the cost and vulnerabilities of its logistics and supply chains, Maersk has purchased an Objet uPrint SE 3D printer from Stratasys. The uPrint SE 3D printer uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology to build 3D parts in ABS thermoplastic and can be used to produce durable spare parts right from desktop.
In the future, 3D printers could be used to print out spare or repair parts for large, ocean-going oil tankers, and "the digital blueprint could be uploaded from Denmark and download from anywhere in the world," said Rehnberg.