Siemens has recently opened a production facility for metal 3D printed components in Finspång. The investment of approx. SEK 200M is the first step in the company’s plans for the mass manufacture and repair of metal parts with additive manufacturing. This is a long-term investment to build up the skills and experience to lead to new ideas and developments in the field.
The facility features Direct Metal Laser Sintering machines from German AM leader, EOS, which cost around USD 850,000 each. Electro Optical Systems believe metal 3D printing has the biggest potential, particularly in aerospace and medical, and consequently, are focused on the development of their metal 3D printing portfolio. EOS machines are already being used for the mass production of medical implants and flight critical parts in aerospace, including by GE Aviation. IDTechEx research for their report 3D Printing of Metals 2015-2025 predicts around 1000 of these types of 3D printers will be sold in 2016, with a total market value of USD 540m.
Siemens are looking to develop new and improved components for the industrial gas turbine SGT-800 significantly faster, and shorten repair times. 3D printing can be used to shorten design and technology validation, reduce manufacturing and repair time, integrate the design and manufacturing process.