From design to final part, what does it really take?

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On February 17, 2017, Posted by , In Marine, With No Comments

Design to Part for Custom Marine Hardware


A common misconception with metal additive manufacturing is that 3D printing is as simple as printing followed by part installation.  Addaero’s approach is to treat additively manufactured components as near-net castings that require post-processing operations to meet the final production requirements.  Because most of the work that we publicly display are finished products, we are going to use the space below to share the in-process steps between printing and the final part. The component we are looking at is a deck pad-eye; a piece of marine hardware designed for a custom yacht.

Example of Additive Manufacturing Custom Marine Hardware

This is the pad-eye after the supports have been removed.


The pad-eye was manufactured in the Arcam A2X EBM system.  This in-process image was taken after running the part through the powder recovery system (PRS) and removing all support structures.  The part is near-net, with stock material added on both the cylindrical portion for machining and the mushroom top for surface finish improvement. The surface roughness of the part is over 700 Ra on all surfaces.



design and manufacture custom marine parts

This is the semi-finished state where only the threads are machined.


Addaero commonly uses a machining operation for areas of parts that require tight dimensional tolerances, tapped holes, and/or threads.  Per the final drawing on this pad-eye, threads were machined into the cylindrical portion and the outer diameter was machined to the called-out dimension.





Additive Manufacturing Final Design Part

This is the finished product ready for delivery.


Addaero implements various surface finish improvement operations for both practical and aesthetic purposes At a minimum, most of our parts will go through a light grinding step to remove burrs left from the additive process and to give the part a more uniform surface finish.  This pad-eye was processed to blend the machined edges and then polished to a mirror finish.




This project is an example of the work that goes into manufacturing production quality components.  The post-processing operations required for this part represent a good baseline for Addaero’s business, as projects can become much more complex than this (and simpler in some cases).  What’s not shown in these images is the quality documentation required, including logs, certifications and post-op inspections along the way.  This pad-eye is a good example of the type of components we produce, as our products are expected to hold up to the most demanding of environments.

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