What Kind of Potential Does 3D Printing Hold for Oil, Gas?
“The downside of current manufacturing standards and limitations is that they prevent innovation and curiosity,” Calnan noted.
“This goes back to ‘It’s the way it’s always been done’,” said Calnan. “A machined part is smooth and shiny and a printed part may have a rough look, but both do the same thing. It’s more a preference than a functional issue. But with the printed part, you have the ability to create anything.”
But Calnan believes that the use of 3D printing in oil and gas will grow as the existing workforce retires and is replaced by students coming up in the school system who have been exposed to 3D design and printing from the beginning.
Calnan hopes that 3D printing can allow oil and gas tools and equipment to be reimagined in new, more efficient ways, a goal on which major oil and gas companies would have to take lead. Doing things the same way that they’ve always been done and expecting to innovate is just crazy.
“In a downturn, you need to leverage the people you have to create better products in a better, and more cost effective way.”
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Senior Editor | Rigzone