Also known as "additive manufacturing ", 3D printing is an example of the kind of technology leadership that is seen as critical to driving the recovery of the manufacturing sector in Europe; and thus compete with countries with lower production costs.
At a factory in the small Swedish industrial town of Finspång, 3D printers from
high technology lasers melt fine layers of metal into powder to form complex parts
for gas turbines.
Siemens, the German engineering and electronics group, is using the technology used in the
inside these bulky machines to speed up repairs and reduce costs within
its power generation maintenance and service division. In some cases, the
Repair of damaged turbine burners has been reduced from 44 to 4 weeks.
Siemens is one of the first companies to use 3D printing to produce parts
heavy duty industrial gas turbine manufacturers, but many other European manufacturers of
renowned are studying how this emerging technology can improve their performance.
BAE Systems, the British defense company, claims that its RAF Tornado fighters have already
blown up with the first 3D printed metal parts;
Rolls-Royce, the aerospace company
from the UK, plans to use 3D printing to produce components for its engines at