Updated: Aug 6, 2019
When we think about 3D Printing we may only think of plastic. We recognize that 3d printing is now part of the consumer market and it is a great tool for the hobbyist. #Additive #Manufacturing has a far more reaching affect in many areas. Many of the leading industries are applying this technology to make great products. It is viewed by many that are leaders in their fields as the future in building.
MIT Technology Review says about GE for example "GE engineers are starting to explore how to use additive manufacturing with a wider range of metal alloys, including some materials specifically designed for #3-D printing. GE Aviation, for one, is looking to use titanium, aluminum, and nickel-chromium alloys. A single part could be made of multiple alloys, letting designers tailor its material characteristics in a way that’s not possible with casting. A blade for an engine or turbine, for example, could be made with different materials so that one end is optimized for strength and the other for heat resistance."
Companies like Ford, BMW, Bugatti, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Kia, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen to name a few are embracing Additive Manufacturing into their process. This would include the lead companies in Formula one racing like McLaren Racing and Ferrari F1 are using metal AM manufacturing in their race cars. They recognize the advantage in cost and weight of parts. The added benefit you can design in away that is not limited by traditional manufacturing. This process lets the engineers and designers explore other options. Engineers can create objects in a manner that replicates forms found in nature and design objects to fulfill precise functions and line workers are coming to trust and depend on additive manufacturing more every day. With millions of parts already 3-D printed and in use, the #automotive industry is set to continue to pick up the pace of adoption.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is poised to become a central building block in the future. Already radically changing how products are designed and manufactured, AM’s progress still needs representatives across the manufacturing spectrum to fulfill its potential. Leaders like #NASA and #Space X are embracing AM into their space programs. The #aerospace sector is an important pioneer in applying metal AM technology. AM is helping the industry increase production efficiency and intelligence to boost performance, control emissions, and promote greater safety.
Engineering Live says about Wind turbines future with AM "AM technologies show a lot of potential when it comes to the wind power industry, as it could in the future enable in-situ manufacture of turbine components that are designed for the unique needs of the resources of a particular location. This would, for example, decrease the shipping, transportation and handling costs and increase the rate at which new blade #prototypes can be tested"
The landscape of companies involved in Additive Manufacturing is broad and diverse. Key companies involved in this industry from an energy perspective include: major utilities, oil and gas exploration and production companies, oil and gas service companies, as well as the established technology OEMs, SMEs, and start-ups.
Some of the key participants in this space are ENI, EnergyX, GE, Halliburton, Shell, Siemens, Utilight, and Verterra. All of these companies are leaders in their respective industries. The energy industry is not immune to all the challenges. It faces considerable pressure to reduce capital expenditure across a range of areas and the ability to simplify and speed up the supply chain would be a key part of that. They are looking at how to improve their products and keep costs down.
As we reviewed all the areas where the additive manufacturing process is having an affect we can see that it is developing to be mainstream with leading companies. It is gaining a foot hold and with time and education more and more companies will start exploring the possibilities of integrating AM into their #design and #engineering process. Our work at #Btec 3D involves making great products with great people. Let us help you design and engineer your product. If you would like to learn more about our process please visit our website www.btec3d.com.