3D printing to shape the future of oil and gas

Manufacturers of equipment, products, and services to the mining and oil and gas sectors should consider the disruptive impact of 3D printing, according to a new report from Global Data.

In part driven by the remote geographic nature of oil and gas facilities, 3D printed products, or manufacturers who products can be 3D printed on demand, are set to become more competitive in this sector.

The report outlines that large amounts of equipment and infrastructure will need to be replaced and retrofitted as it reaches the end of its lift. If the replacement parts could be 3D printed, the process of maintenance could be sped up, and made more cost-competitive.

In addition, with down-time in an oil or gas facility involving large costs, reducing the time it takes to source and incorporate a new product will be a vital factor.

To deliver the gains from 3D printing processes, industry and technology actors will need to partner for custom-designed solutions.

Current advanced in 3D printing technology are also seeing 3D printing move from being used to rapidly design prototypes, to be able to manufacture large volumes at flexible specifications. This both reduces the cost of materials, as well as ensuring that parts can be used for the longest time possible, for a more sustainable outcome.

In addition, as new materials are developed that can be used by 3D printers to create different kinds of structures, the design benefits of 3D printing are set to increase. Reducing complexity in the design of components and parts can reduce the weight of objects, and increase efficiency.

The confluence of these trends is leading to the greater adoption of 3D printing across the oil and gas industries.