3D PRINTING IN ENERGY, MANUFACTURING AND ELECTRONICS
Additive manufacturing is ushering in a new industrial revolution that is gradually gaining ground in all sectors. 3D printing offers greater flexibility and enables parts to be created with greater geometrical complexity, while reducing assembly times, production lead times and cost. It also has the immense benefit of giving free rein to the creativity of engineers, who enjoy greater flexibility and can innovate at minimal prototyping cost compared to traditional processes. Lastly, creating spare parts on demand is greatly facilitated by 3D printing equipment – now being acquired by an ever increasing number of manufacturers. Additive manufacturing is therefore becoming the ally of all industrial sectors seeking to innovate, become more agile, reduce stocks and simplify their supply chain.
Operators in the energy, manufacturing and electronics sectors are banking on 3D!
There is no short supply of manufacturers who are fully convinced of the ability of 3D printing to improve their production! For example, the prototyping unit of Schneider Electric claims to have accelerated the production of innovative products by 60% by creating bespoke 3D injection molds that fully meet their standards. The Bosch group has divided the production costs of a robotic bit by 100 thanks to 3D printing. Major electronics groups such as Jabil and Flex have also introduced additive manufacturing within their processes in order to gain agility for their customers and to rapidly develop bespoke prototypes and finished products. Certain innovative 3D materials such as high performance thermoplastics are also of great interest to oil companies seeking ever more complex and effective equipment. For example, Shell has created innovative prototypes to facilitate underwater operations which are typically long and delicate in terms of safety. In plastics processing, 3D printing of metals is also booming thanks to molds able to be designed in record time to improve productivity and thermal efficiency.
The most common 3D applications in energy, manufacturing and electronics
- Components, heat exchangers, electric motors
- Jet parts
- Plastic injection molds
- Robot parts
- Metal printing
- Vehicle batteries
- Printed electronic circuits