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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Jack Denail  |  August 14, 2018
It is really good news for us because now 3D printer being used in tech areas like gas and oil filed.
Ryan willson  |  August 11, 2018
3D printing – or the process of making physical objects from a digital model using a printer – has been around for decades, but a number of industries, including oil and gas, are now exploring ways that 3D printing could enhance product development. 3D printing can be used in oil and gas means that old school engineering drawings would need to be translated into modern design.
printing error  |  June 06, 2018
3D printing is now working in Oil and Gas field. It is very pleasant news for development in print tech area.
Don YATES  |  November 06, 2015
The new generation 3D machines will have BOTH additive and subtractive technologies in the same interactive device. We are also working on 3D additive printing INSIDE a structure, not an external or stand-alone structure on a print table. This was recognised with our 3D WIN in the 2014 Australian Mining Prospect Awards for a production device that can drill / cut / print holes and structures in the unconventional oil & gas sector.
James Raison  |  November 04, 2015
This is the next step in the Industrial revolution, the article is correct when it mentions that engineers now cant grasp how they can use this technology. Conventional manufacturing is all about removing material - milling and turning (ok welding is slightly different), but with 3D laser printing its different. You can add internal channels which would have needed a number of parts made using conventional manufacturing. We, at the Nobu Group have already been producing products to be used in the Oil and Gas industry. It is a very exciting technology and you can use all sorts of materials - our products we made using Inconel 718.
Gary  |  October 28, 2015
A very interesting article and one that hits particularly close to home seeing as I took redundancy from a major operator to start up a 3D printing company! Currently the plastics in use in 3D printing arent suitable for use in operations however there are amazing advancements being made all the time and I foresee a future where plastics play a major role in the industry.