Looking at the current panorama of the additive manufacturing industry, it appears clear that one critical factor for a more stable introduction of this technology in several industrial fields is the creation of new systems for metal 3D printing. This is already a fundamental sector for the industry, but still needs greater innovation and optimization. That’s why the Italian Center for Sustainability Energy Environment and Mobility (CSEEM), based in the beautiful Salento region (the heel of the Italian boot), carried out some R&D projects focusing on any possible application of DMP- Direct Metal Printing – by pushing the limits of this manufacturing process.
To do so, CSEEM cooperated with 3DZ, one of the leading European resellers of 3D Systems’ 3D printers. After some intensive testing, the experts at CSEEM opted for the ProX 100, a professional metal 3D printer that provides high levels of accuracy and reliability.
With its 1,500-square-meter lab, and over 1oo personnel base between teachers and researchers, and over 150 collaborators, the Engineering Department of Salento University, is targeting the promotion of new technologies by collaborating with CSEEM to support Italian enterprises that want to implement innovative processes in their workflow.
“The ProX 100 will help us design a motor turbine. The plan is to optimize the turbine’s routes to avoid deposits of particles,” explained Prof. De Risi. In fact, CSEEM is specializing in new applications of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and combustion in diesel and petrol. The ability to precisely model these metal components will ensure a performance optimization for internal combustion engines, and will also help the design of injection systems and the analysis of the combustion for alternative fuels.
“Another upcoming project in which we’ll use the ProX 100 will be the creation of an innovative heat changer, designed to maximize thermal efficiency,” added De Risi. But CSEEM is already looking beyond basic metal, printing to the testing of ceramic materials for solar energy. At this rate of accelerated development, it cannot be excluded that the next “industrial revolution” – the one based on 3D printing – could be even closer than think.
*This post was co-authored by Matteo Maggioni