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3D-printed moulds for oil drill bits

Drill bits for the oil industry are highly complex components that are usually custom designed for each application and manufactured as one-off pieces.  

Advances in 3D printing technology now make it possible to print forms with complicated undercuts in a single piece.
Using precision CAD data, a fully automatic 3D printer uses the layer construction method to create moulds without the need for any tools. This dispenses with the time-consuming but otherwise necessary step of setting up a model, thereby reducing lead times from 4 weeks to a single day.

3D printing at the HA Center of Competence

The HA Center of Competence is equipped with an S-Max Plus 3D printer from ExOne, which can be used to reproduce a comprehensive range of 3D printing processes with sand.
One example: The mould for an oil drill bit has a diameter of 700mm and a length of 800mm. It is manufactured by adding individual layers of 0.28mm height. In this case, the special sand Cerabeads is used, which has particularly high heat resistance properties (up to 1,800°C). A hot-curing phenolic resin is used as the binder.

The benefits at a glance

  • Saves time – no need for a model
  • Even moulds with complicated undercuts can be printed in one piece
  • Maximum accuracy and mould integrity
  • Outstanding surface quality
  • High heat resistance

Want to learn more about our Additive Manufacturing solutions?
Your contact at HA for Additive Manufacturing is always happy to help.