Network for 3D-printing in the maritime industry

NOTE: Here you will find central information about the MN3D network in English. At the end of the page, you can use Google Translator to display all content on the website in English – or any other language.

The MN3D Network aims to develop additive manufacturing methods and products for the maritime sector and to market them.
The network is dedicated to addressing the specific needs and requirements of the maritime industry in 3D printing. The specific challenges of the maritime industry concern the size of components and their exposure to low-frequency vibrations and seawater, their accessibility, durability and associated reliability. Finally, they must meet environmental requirements to a high degree and prove their economic efficiency.

Download here the short network description.


  • Global sales in additive manufacturing with software, hardware and materials rose by 18 percent in 2018 to over 8 billion euros. The 3D printing market is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the upcoming years.
  • The world’s leading maritime trade fair SMM in Hamburg in 2018 was the first time that a special show on 3D printing took place. Additive manufacturing in the maritime industry is still at the beginning of its possibilities but gain momentum. The largely conservative maritime sector is hence a new market for 3D printing.
  • The technology has the potential to change global flows of goods and open up new possibilities for shipping, e.g. through the fast and local production of spare parts.

Assessing the need for additive manufacturing methods in the maritime industry in the greater metropolitan region of Hamburg

A Study on behalf of Maritimes Cluster Norddeutschland e. V. and conducted by IAPT – Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies. The study aims to give companies from the maritime industry a deeper understanding of additive manufacturing and to reveal the full potential of additive manufacturing, with a focus on maritime applications. Download here the study [PDF, 2,9 MB].

R&D projects

All activities of the network partners are aimed at jointly developing concrete R&D projects to advance innovations in 3D printing for the maritime industry. To this end, applications are developed and submitted to  suitable funding programme for further support.
At present, R&D projects are being planned on the following topics: surface properties, materials, integration of sensors, component sizes and tool life.

Benefit for the companies

The network increases knowledge and innovation, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the network, the SMEs pursue the goal of reacting more flexibly to customer wishes in the future and thus increasing the competitiveness of their companies. Just like the larger companies involved, SMEs are expanding their know-how and range of services and tapping new economic potential.
All partners want to establish their developments on the market for additive manufacturing.

Network partners


  • A. Winter 3D Konstruktions GmbH
  • FEM-composites
  • Gebr. Friedrich Industrie- und Elektrotechnik GmbH
  • Gebr. Potthast Kunststoffspritzguss GmbH & Co KG
  • JBS System GmbH
  • Mecklenburger Metallguss GmbH
  • Rolf Lenk Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH
  • SLM Solutions Group AG
  • S.M.I.L.E-FEM GmbH
  • Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH
  • Treo – Labor für Umweltsimulation GmbH
  • Weihe GmbH

Research institutions

  • Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies IAPT
  • Flensburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg)
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research

Cluster organisation

  • Maritimes Cluster Norddeutschland e.V.
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