Researchers around the world are increasingly adapting to the advantages of 3D printing in finding potential solutions to a number of problems. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing has become successful in testing and developing new products as well as in producing low-cost prototypes. Especially in the energy sector, additive manufacturing has found widespread application.
The energy industry is witnessing a transition and using more renewable and sustainable sources to overcome challenges of climate change. Producing equipment required to harness resources such as solar and wind energy and converting them into power for businesses and homes has become one of the biggest endeavor.
According to Future Power Technology 3D printing plays a significant role in curbing the manufacturing costs into half. Based on the expert view of MIT researchers, printed panels could be 20 percent more efficient in comparison to traditional panels. 3D panels as opposed to traditional ones are thinner in comparison, thus allowing them to be more portable without causing damage.
Wind energy also has advantages to gain from 3D printing. As a result, the Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing has partnered with several private and public organizations to revolutionize 3D printing of turbine blade molds.
Furthermore, the 3D printed turbine blade molds will curb transportation costs, since transporting printer to a job site is easier than delivering a 50-foot mold.
In addition, 3D printer can also be used to replace broken parts and helps companies to manufacture parts unique in field of wind turbines or solar panels. Siemens Energy Sector made the first 3D printed metal replacement parts for an industrial gas turbine in 2018, and noted that the development shortened the lead time on traditional production of the part by 40 percent.