DNV GL and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) are supporting academic advances in additive manufacturing – the process of 3D printing – for the maritime, oil and gas and other industries, through a four-year research collaboration agreement.

Two new doctoral student (PhD) positions are being created through the Industrial Postgraduate Program, supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and DNV GL. A further full time Research Fellow post is also being created at NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing.

The research agreement will focus on developing industry standards, quality assurance processes, certification and supply chain tracking for the additive manufacturing sector. It was signed by Dr. Pierre C Sames, Senior Vice President and Director of DNV GL Group Technology and Research, and Professor Tim White, Associate Vice President (Infrastructure & Programs), NTU Singapore.

Market researchers SmarTech Publishing forecast that 3D printing will become a USD450 million market in the oil and gas industry by 2021, rising to USD1.4 billion by 2025.

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"This research collaboration demonstrates DNV GL's commitment to R&D in 3D printing, and securing the safe deployment of the technique in maritime and oil and gas, at a time when the technology is undergoing rapid advances and as growth in its use is expected to grow exponentially,” said Brice Le Gallo, Regional Manager South East Asia and Australia DNV GL – Oil & Gas and Director of the Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Singapore.

“Our work with NTU, and with the support the new academic posts will receive from DNV GL’s Group Technology and Research, will help to strengthen our Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence’s relations with academia. The collaboration agreement will also help us to further develop DNV GL’s approach to verification and certification of 3D printed parts as the technology develops.”

The investment in academia comes after DNV GL engaged in a joint industry project to study the feasibility of 3D printing in the maritime industry earlier this year, alongside 10-member companies from the Singapore Ship Association.

They will collaborate on the potential use of spare parts produced by 3D printers to help the capital-intensive maritime industry to cut costs and downtimes. Initiated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the JIP aims to establish what commonly ordered parts are highly feasible for 3D printing with or without certification respectively. The signing ceremony at NTU was also witnessed by Brice Le Gallo, Regional Manager South East Asia and Australia DNV GL – Oil & Gas and Director of the Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Singapore, and Professor Chua Chee Kai, Executive Director of NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing.

“Additive Manufacturing has the potential to disrupt companies active in design, production, certification and supply of goods. But it can also shape a new ecosystem around those goods. Our collaboration agreement with NTU provides opportunities for the additive manufacturing supply chain to instill greater trust in this fast-emerging technology through DNV GL’s developing services in this sector,” said Dr. Pierre C Sames, Senior Vice President and Director of DNV GL Group Technology and Research.

Professor Chua Chee Kai, Executive Director of the NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) said: “This partnership between NTU and DNV GL comes at an inflection point for additive manufacturing in the maritime and offshore industry, where a deeper understanding of design, materials, and processes will facilitate the creation of more comprehensive guidelines for the qualification, and the certification of components produced by additive manufacturing. The combination of NTU’s expertise in additive manufacturing research and DNV GL’s experience in risk management and quality assurance services will pave the way for wider adoption of the technology in the maritime and offshore sector.”

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