How Can 3D-Printing Change Entire Industries?

The Big Idea

What happens when you put a 3D-print company and a venture studio together for a weekend? In our case, we co-founded Ivaldi Group — a startup that redefines how the maritime and offshore industries create, handle, and distribute spare parts — by leveraging technology and 3D-printing.

What Makes Ivaldi Unique?

Ivaldi leverages cutting edge additive manufacturing and metal fabrication solutions, also known as 3D-printing, to provide in-port parts manufacturing for the maritime and offshore industries. Currently, when a container ship needs a simple gasket or a pressure washer nozzle, the ship manager must first locate the correct part, then it must be sent to the ship’s current location — often from another part of the world. In addition to distribution, costs related to manufacturing, storage, delays through customs in the destination country, and in-port fees add to the total picture.

“..drone-delivery directly to ships will be tested in Q3 2018.”

Ivaldi addresses this problem by installing small 3D-print factories in each port, so the part can be produced on-demand, with instant delivery to the ship. The impact on the traditional value chain, together with the cost reductions, are enormous, as shown in the illustration below.

Redefining a 380 Billion Dollar Industry

Ivaldi Group’s core business model is to send files, not parts — regardless of industry. However, as a start-up, Ivaldi Group’s journey began with a focus on the maritime and offshore industries, a huge area that is still synonymous with traditional business models and manual processes. They are also among the industries with the strongest potential for digitization. In early 2018, Ivaldi installed its first micro factory in Singapore together with Wilhelmsen, one of the world’s leading maritime corporations. This micro factory will serve as a pilot for printing spare parts during summer 2018, and together with Airbus, drone-delivery directly to ships will be tested in Q3 2018.

The Process

When we create new products or companies in Norse, we follow service design principles in order to make sure we are building something we are confident that works with the end-user. Through user interviews and market research within 3D-print technology, shipping companies and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), we designed a complete user journey map to fully understand the challenges is the industry. The user journey map helped us understand where to put our focus, and what to build.

Defining the product scope and user experience.

Through an iterative process, we built the software that enables a completely new business model in the maritime and offshore industries, and soon, many other industries as well. We created a portal for OEMs to upload their product catalogue, and a tool for Ivaldi employees to create, design, and organize an extensive product library with 3D files attached. Through a storefront, ship managers are able to order existing or customized parts, and have the order sent to the closest harbor, as a 3D-print file for in-port manufacturing.

Ivaldi parts creation and management tool.

Currently (June 2018), we have built the complete software solution for Ivaldi’s value chain, that handles all parts of the ordering and printing processes. Nevertheless, we are still in early stage, and there will be many iterations going forward, to optimize the workflow for creating and handling 3D products both internally, and for our partners and customers. As we move on, we are also looking into really interesting partnerships with certification agencies. If we manage to define and integrate industry-standard certification processes directly into Ivaldi’s value chain, we’re not only among the first movers to establish certifications for custom 3D-printed parts, but we’re also involved in defining a new business area for the entire certification industry.

Ivaldi Group is only getting started, and it’s exciting for us to be part of this journey. You can read more about Ivaldi Group at https://ivaldi.io/.


I work as a Digital Business Developer in Norse, a digital product studio based in Oslo, Norway. We build meaningful products and companies from the ground up.