Dutch heavy crane, marine and offshore equipment manufacturer Huisman has manufactured the world’s first 3D printed offshore crane hook.


The hook has successfully passed its load test of 80 tonnes and all associated quality control checks. Crane hooks are typically manufactured by casting or forging techniques, but using 3D printing technology, Huisman has shown what could be the future for manufacturing technology.

Huisman uses the 3D printing technique Wire & Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) to produce medium to large components with high grade tensile steel, including a four prong crane hook weighing close to 1,000kg. An important benefit for larger crane hooks is reduced delivery time at a cost that competes with forgings and castings.

WAAM will also allow Huisman to manufacture other components with complex shapes. The positive test results enable Huisman to manufacture components that were physically impossible or commercially unviable to produce before. The company aims to further improve the process and reduce the cost for this technique and to increase manufacturing capabilities to items that weigh up to 2.5 tonnes.