3D Printing in the Oil Field Kicks Into Production Mode

Topics: R&D
Photo courtesy of Stratasys
3D printing has advanced to where equipment manufacturers can make small but complex metal parts that offer advantages conventionally fabricated parts cannot. The first adopters in the oil and gas industry like what they see so far and plan to expand the number and variety of 3D printed components

The biggest oilfield service companies in the world are using 3D printers to make metal components for a growing number of tools and equipment.

This is a significant development. It shows how far the needle has moved since these companies first embraced 3D printing more than a decade ago for the rapid prototyping of plastic models. Though the early work is being done on a small scale it gives us the first look at the future of manufacturing in this industry.

“Like any technology that evolves quite rapidly, it has tremendous potential,” said Rustom Mody, the vice president of technical excellence at Baker Hughes. “It not only reduces the cost, it accelerates the innovation process, and at the same time it gives you more functionality.”

The ability to deliver that trifecta—cheaper, quicker, better—has made the trillion-dollar oil and gas industry the fastest growing user of 3D printing according to some market analysts.

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3D Printing in the Oil Field Kicks Into Production Mode

Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

31 July 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 8