Measurement while drilling equipment supplier APS recently announced a new approach to manufacturing with components made using industrial 3D-printing technology from EOS. APS’ steerable drill motors, vibration dampers and sensors operate under harsh downhole conditions and the company is continuously seeking to improve its products. A variety of additive-manufacturing (AM) methods have been used in the past for testing and evaluation, but early 3D printers produced models in soft materials unsuited for the downhole environment.
Enter EOS’ direct metal laser sintering
technology that can produce components in stainless steel, Inconel and
other metals ready for real-world use. The EOSINT M 280 system has been
used to print parts for a turbine that powers a steerable drilling head
and its onboard MWD system.
APS’ Chris Funke told Oil IT Journal how the process worked. ‘We start with a SolidWorks model and once the design is optimized for the additive process, we convert the file to an STL for ingestion into Materialise Magics for QC of the 3D model and to plan and optimize the AM process. Once the layout is complete, Magics’ RP Tools produce slice files ready for the EOS machine.’
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