Oceanic Consulting Corporation of St. John’s, Newfoundland is known around the world for its expertise in commercial marine research and development, as well as in arctic and ice engineering. Its customers rely on Oceanic’s knowledgeable people, unique facilities, and advanced technology, and use its services to study and improve ships, fixed and floating offshore structures, and other advanced marine systems. Oceanic’s experts are also proud contributors to the success of several grand prix yacht racing syndicates, including Team Alinghi, two-time America’s Cup champions.
Need to create accurate scale models
With science and technology guiding Oceanic’s commitment to proving and improving client designs, and their ongoing need to create accurate scale models and simulate real-world environments, the Oceanic team found itself in the market for 3D printing technology. They approached several suppliers, including Javelin Technologies – a company that was already a trusted partner as a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of SOLIDWORKS® design software.
Ron Ryan is Manager of Oceanic’s fabrication group. He says his team was already accustomed to Javelin’s high level of service and support, so the company was an obvious addition to the list of possible suppliers.
“When we were looking for a 3D printer, we requested samples from multiple suppliers and compared the quality and finish of the sample parts, as well as the properties of the build material. We also looked at service plans, support, material costs, maintenance, and print times. Overall, the Stratasys 3D printer from Javelin was very good quality, and Javelin was forthcoming with valuable information and responded to questions immediately.”
New opportunities to do work in-house
Oceanic uses a Stratasys 3D printer for fabricating essential components and works under very tight timelines – often its customers need delivery in just a few weeks.
“Javelin support is fast,” Ryan says. “They are available by phone, e-mail and even remote access to help fix issues and solve any problems we encounter. On a few occasions, when we needed support for the printer, Javelin was able to help us rectify the problem within a day.”
Using SOLIDWORKS together with the Stratasys 3D printer allows Oceanic specialists to quickly turn concepts into physical parts and has given them new opportunities to do work in-house that was once sent to outside suppliers. The complexity of parts fabrication possible with the 3D printer has allowed for enhanced sophistication in physical model experiments, which allows for improved accuracy – and happy clients.
3D Print replacement parts for harsh marine environments
Working in an often harsh marine environment presents extra challenges, and having a 3D printer in house also allows Oceanic to efficiently print replacement parts and modify them as required. It’s now possible to 3D print parts that were once only machined, so designers can add detail and features that would otherwise be very expensive – even impossible – to machine. Examples include mechanical linkages, rudders, mounting brackets, props, and even custom instrumentation.
“The time we save using SOLIDWORKS and doing our own 3D printing helps us validate designs quickly to meet demanding project deadlines,” Ryan says. “And we don’t stop there. We are always testing and pushing the 3D printer and the capabilities of the build material to their limits, sometimes designing very thin parts.”
For more information about the work of Oceanic Consulting, visit oceaniccorp.com