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3d Printing Calls for New Approach in Oil and Gas Engineering Models

3d printing can allow oil and gas tools and equipment to be reimagined in new, more efficient ways.

3d printing – the process of making physical objects from a digital model using a printer – has been around for decades, and recently the oil and gas industry is exploring ways in which 3d printing can enhance product development.

3d printing is more than just reproducing parts that are already being created today. What needs to be looked at is a way of increasing the number of applications through which 3d printing can benefit the oil and gas industry. That means that old school engineering designs need to be translated into modern 3d models that leverage concepts not envisioned when the parts were designed using standard manufacturing technologies.

Part of the issue also is changing engineers’ mindsets of current manufacturing standards and limitations. Ten years ago, the main focus of engineering was to know the rules and make sure everything was engineered to meet the standards and to make things work well and safely.

Now, 3d printing can allow oil and gas tools and equipment to be reimagined in new, more efficient ways; a goal for major oil and gas companies that are slowly taking the lead. Doing things the same way that they’ve always been done and expecting to innovate is just unwise. In a downturn, you need to leverage the people you have to create superior products in a better and more cost-effective way. 

In 2010, SUBSEA TRAINING SOLUTIONS develop a line of full-color 3d presentation models that are now used in all our training courses in Houston and Brazil. These 3d models allow students to physically hold, take apart, view from any angle, and put back together components of a blowout preventer.

SUBSEA SOLUTIONS' clients use 3d pinted models on rigs and in corporate meetings and board rooms as a tool for subsea engineering design, planning, and safety meetings.



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