3D printing: Siemens, RAF Tornado fighters and Rolls-Royce

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Also known as "additive manufacturing ", 3D printing is an example of the kind of technology leadership that is seen as critical to driving the recovery of the manufacturing sector in Europe; and thus compete with countries with lower production costs.

At a factory in the small Swedish industrial town of Finspång, 3D printers from

high technology lasers melt fine layers of metal into powder to form complex parts

for gas turbines.

Siemens, the German engineering and electronics group, is using the technology used in the

inside these bulky machines to speed up repairs and reduce costs within

its power generation maintenance and service division. In some cases, the

Repair of damaged turbine burners has been reduced from 44 to 4 weeks.

Siemens is one of the first companies to use 3D printing to produce parts

heavy duty industrial gas turbine manufacturers, but many other European manufacturers of

renowned are studying how this emerging technology can improve their performance.

BAE Systems, the British defense company, claims that its RAF Tornado fighters have already

blown up with the first 3D printed metal parts;

Rolls-Royce, the aerospace company

from the UK, plans to use 3D printing to produce components for its engines at


Video: RAF Tornado Farewell. RAF Marham

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