Wärtsilä Produce The Worlds First 3D Printed CE-Certified Lifting Tool

Wärtsilä – a leading global company focussing on smart technologies were machining a lifting tool for moving heavy engine parts around the factory. The irony was the lifting tool they originally designed to be machined was also heavy and difficult to transport.

Neil Sewell

December 6, 2019

Needs to lift heavy items? This 3D Printed lifting tool can lift up to 960kg making it perfect for engine parts.

75% Total Weight Saving

100,000 Euros Saved in Tooling

960kg Tested Lifting Capacity

Read the Full Case Study here

Wärtsilä – a leading global company focusing on smart technologies were machining a lifting tool for moving heavy engine parts around the factory. The irony was the lifting tool they originally designed to be machined was also heavy and difficult to transport.

Further compounding this problem was the time and cost to manufacture along with the size. This made the original machined steel design unaffordable.

Wärtsilä decided to find another solution and create a cost-effective in house solution that they could scale across multiple sites.

3D Printed Lifting Tool
The re-designed tool was split into multiple parts and uses carbon fibre reinforcement

Wärtsilä had already invested in Markforged Desktop 3D Printers so were familar with making carbon fibre tools but on a smaller scale which proved the concept of carbon fibre tooling to them. The decision was made to purchase an Industrial Markforged X7 with a larger build volume and laser inspection to help with quality procedures.

The exciting design was redesigned to be printed in a number of different parts and used the continuous carbon fibre reinforcement to add strength but retain the lightweight of carbon fibre.

The first test engineers at Wärtsilä performed was to lift a piston. On the first try the tool lifted the 240kg piston.

“I think everybody was actually pretty shocked about the performance”

Juho Raukola, Innovation Expert (Additive Manufacturing) at Wärtsilä.

Further tests were carried out and the lifting tool was deemed to be able to lift 960kg without deformation. This includes a 4x saftey factor.

3D Printed Lifting Tool Close Up
This redesigned lifting tool is 75% lighter than the previous machined version.

CE Certification & Type Approval

Bureau Veritas (an international certification agency based in paris) put the Wärtsilä lifting tool through all the required tests and inspections before awarding Wärtsilä as the creator of the worlds first 3D Printed CE certified lifting tool.

Distributed Manufacturing 

Wärtsilä has moved to using Additive Manufacturing wherever they can including 3D printed grippers to various tools and jigs across their Italy & Finland sites. Wärtsilä now plan to role out distributed manufacturing across all their sites.

“The beauty of 3D printing is that each design can be printed anywhere at any time through distributed manufacturing”

Juho Raukola, Innovation Expert (Additive Manufacturing) at Wärtsilä

The Wärtsilä engineering team plan to have Markforged printers at all of their facilities to 3D print the tooling engineers require.

You can read the full case study here

To speak to a 3D Printing expert about how you can engage with 3D Printing to drive improvements & savings within your own business, call us on 01926 333 777 or email us on info@solidprint3d.co.uk

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