Maintenance and Repair – 3D Printing Metal parts

Fabrisonic’s President, Mark Norfolk, was recently interviewed for an article in Plant Services magazine.  The article discusses the use of 3D printing metal parts for plant maintenance.  This is an interesting use of 3D printing but must be approached cautiously.  Often times legacy machines no longer have OEM support.  In fact, in many factories equipment does not even have manuals or drawings.  Thus, plant engineers are often looking to build replacement parts that must be reverse engineered.  Through use of commercial scanning programs, parts can be reconstructed into a CAD file that can be 3D printed.  The best parts for 3D printing are often castings that have high complexity.  If the parts are easily CNC machined, that is often the most economical route.