Hoping I can get some direction from some Formlabs users. I currently work in the Oil & Gas industry as a piping designer in a refinery. I would very much like to incorporate a Form 2 into our design department, but can’t think of a way to directly justify the use. Is there anybody else out there that is using a 3D printer in the industry, especially when it comes to design (could be electrical, civil, structural, mechanical, piping, etc.) My boss is on board, but can’t pull the trigger until I give a good breakdown of the value to the department, other than cool factor. Any advice or direction is much appreciated!
For pipes especially, I don’t see an obvious use. In a refinery in general, printing old parts at temporary replacement or full time replacement for older/unavailable ones can be useful. That’s mostly viable for non safety-critical parts thoug.
Go talk to the maintenance crew and maybe other people on the field and make them expose their recent issues, I’m sure you’ll find a use… although you might have trouble finding a use which solves a real/unique problem not solvable by other means, meaning it’ll stay a “nice to have”.
As a transition you can, if that’s not already the case, introduce 3D printing by outsourcing the parts to someone else. Once you have demonstrated the use of 3D printed parts, buying a printer is an ovious choice price-wise.
Thanks for the reply John. Talking with the maintenance guys is a great idea. I’ll give that a shot and see what comes out of it.