Shaping New Pathways with 3D Printed Mining Parts
3D Printing in the Mining Industry
The accelerated growth of 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology in the last decade especially has meant that more and more industries are employing this disruptive and innovative technology for its efficiency and cost-effective nature. The mining industry is no exception.
One of the major incentives for mining companies to adopt this mode of rapid manufacturing for mining is the ability to combat operational delays. Unavailability of spare parts for essential mining equipment such as dozer, dumper, trucks, wheel loaders, etc. often dampens the productivity of mining operations.
Enter 3D printing for mining. Mining companies now have reduced lead time as well as drastic cost-saving capabilities. There are other major benefits of choosing 3D printed spare parts over traditional manufacturing. We discuss them here.
Benefits and Applications of 3D Printing Technology for Mining Industry
Potentially, 3D printing can pose a serious challenge to the concept of economies of scale. You ask, how is that possible? We live in an uncertain moment in time where natural resources have become scarce, the demand for flexibility and customizations have increased and the market has generally become rather volatile.
In such a scenario, rapid manufacturing can drive value for mining resources. Following, we explore three main features of 3D print technology that make it so useful for mining companies.
- 3D Models: Create physical models of information of mining operations such as topological and geological data (3D topographic maps), mine designs, tailings and storage designs, on-site facilities, etc. these visual sets of data, apart from their obvious tactile advantage, can also be tailor-made for the different stakeholders in mining operations – on-site teams, regulatory committees and so on, thereby creating more effective communication for better decision-making.
- Increased Customizations and Replications: Miners can now hope to design customized components for their equipment suited specifically to the site they are mining. 3D printing is also making it possible to store a digital copy of an existing product so that it can be used for replications, as and when required.
- 3D Mining Equipment: Now you can get your mining equipment such as dozer, dumper, trucks, wheel loaders, etc. 3D printed! Reduce operational lead times with metal 3D printed mining tools and equipment. Already, pathbreaking research has achieved precision-engineered mineral separation and high wear-resistant mining components prototypes.
- Energy-efficient and Eco-friendly: By utilizing 3D printing technology, mining companies are basically adopting more energy-efficient as well as a materials-efficient mode of operation. Wastage of raw materials, as experienced in conventional manufacturing techniques, can be drastically tackled, making 3D printing a truly eco-friendly alternative.
- Conformal Cooling for Metal 3D Printing: This process has displayed proven benefits with regards to reduced cycle time for injection moulding by up to 70%. The quality of metal parts produced thus is also superior with reduced warpage. Not only this, but mining companies can also reduce design time and mould production costs.
How Does 3D Printing in Mining Really Work?
- 3D Concept and Design: Create something that was not there before! Optimize designs of 3D printed rigs, for example, using existing designs or simply create a new one. Simply upload a DAE, OBJ, STL, WRL,3MF file onto the 3D Spectra Tech online portal with your design specifications (e.g. colour, textures etc.)
- 3D Printer: Once the 3D CAD file has been uploaded, 3D Spectra Tech will use its advanced 3D printers, depending on specific project requirement.
- 3D Printed Product: Get your pristine 3D printed mining part with unmatched accuracy and superior quality.
We are helping to promote and make 3D printing for mining in India a reality. Our on-time delivery of accurate and high-quality 3D printed products makes us one of the most sought-after 3D print services in Pune. You can also reach out to us for online 3D printing. Let us collaborate for more efficient and environmentally sound mining industry of the future!