Wednesday 30 November, after months of preparations, the opening of RAMLAB took place. The world’s first 3D metal printing lab for the maritime sector is now officially in use. The field lab, equipped with two ‘3D metal printing’ systems, is located at the RDM Rotterdam Innovation Dock.
Audience and speakers
RAMLAB’s opening event was attended by some 70 people, predominantly RAMLAB partners, journalists and representatives of the maritime sector. The audience was addressed by a number of vital contributors to RAMLAB, including Port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein, Remco Valk of Valk Welding – supplier of the machinery, and RAMLAB managing director Vincent Wegener.
Wegener introduced the WAAM technology (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) to the audience and described its benefits, such as scalability, speed and relatively low costs. But most of all he explained how RAMLAB partnerships came to be and on top of that, he announced a couply of new partnerships – with Fokker and the Royal Netherlands Navy. All these organisations work together to make a dream come true: to create metal parts on demand by just push a button.
Very special guest
However, the highlight of the morning was yet to come. “A very special guest”, according to Wegener as he gave the floor to RAMLAB’s newest WAAM machine, commonly referred to as a 3D metal printer. This machine can create metal objects on demand, but who would have thought it can dance and speak as well? The machine talked and its red robotic arm started to move around. Since seeing is believing, a video coverage of today’s event will become available soon.
Finally Wegener and Castelein revealed the machine’s first printed object: a large propeller. The opening was a big success and contributed to a lot of buzz around RAMLAB. But most of all, the opening of RAMLAB was an open invitation to all organisations in the maritime sector to join RAMLAB.