Jan 12, 2015 | By Alec

Observant readers might have noticed that 3D printing technology has been making significant inroads into various heavy industries throughout 2014. We’ve seen that more and more companies in the aerospace and automobile industries have been adopting high-quality metal printing as a prototyping and even a manufacturing technology, while even new military applications are being created. Just last week we reported on a new initiative by the Chinese navy to include metal 3D printers on its warships.

And now another major company in the metal industry is adopting 3D printing: Sanvik. They have just opened a brand-new 3D printing research and development center in Sandviken, a small town north of Stockholm. They are currently looking for staff members specialized in 3D printing.

This is thus just the latest industrial manufacturer to switch to 3D printing, though in no way a minor player in the market of metal manufacturers. Sanvik is a global engineering group especially known as the world’s largest producer of metal-cutting tools (a market whose value is set to grow to $21 billion over the coming decade). However, they are also major producers of metal powders used in metal 3D printing. With the widespread adoption of metal 3D printing, that market is also set to grow.

The director of this new research and development center, Mikael Schuisky, told reporters that they will initially explore the potential of 3D printing for all of the company’s products, so ‘mining drill rigs to fuel tubes for nuclear power plants.’ While he doesn’t expect that 3D printing is set to replace traditional manufacturing methods very soon, it could add greater flexibility to the production process. ‘We’re taking this to another level. We’re making a focused strategic push to research this for the benefit of the entire group.’

Schuisky went on to state that they were also interested in 3D printing’s ability to create shapes and objects that can’t be realized with traditional production processes, giving designers and developers whole new avenues to work with. ‘What is attractive about 3D is the new way of thinking. We are used to thinking that objects are processed out of a material. We need to start thinking about starting from a blank canvas.’


Posted in 3D Printing Services


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