Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam (STCA), one of the three main research center of Shell worldwide, recently began working with a CONCEPTLaser M2 3D printer to make complex metal products.
The CONCEPTLaser M2 3D printer, supplied by Landré Machines from Vianen, produces complex products from metal powders using selective laser melting method.
This 3D printer can be used to produce 3D objects directly from a CAD file using expensive materials such as titanium, Inconel and cobalt-chromium.
(Joost Kroon, mechanical instrument engineer at Shell Global Solutions Int Ltd)
3D printing process has less material waste, but that's not the only reason that Shell invests in the 3D printer. Shell wants to create products that is impossible to make with existing machining techniques.
Shell is developing new products and processes in the field of oil, gas, chemicals and alternative fuels testing in Amsterdam. Complex components including internal cooling channels and internal structures are difficult to be manufactured with existing machining techniques. With 3D printing Shell could not only make complex structures and parts but also in a very low cost. The printed products can still be hardened to 52 HRC and can be further processed with existing techniques.
To be able to print 3D products, Shell uses software developed by Materialise and CAD files are made suitable for the laser melting process on the CONCEPTLaser.
According to supplier Landré machines, those high-tech suppliers who continues looking for new technologies for their business growth is currently showing a lot of interest in 3D printing.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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