In the wind energy sector, hybrid 3D printed components are exhibiting improved performance and structural characteristics.

FREMONT, CA: The rising prices of nickel-based alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel coupled with the complex geometry of the components make a better strategy that is crucial to make wind power generation affordable and accessible. Given that, innovations in the design and manufacturing of wind power generation components is continuing, and wind energy firms are partnering with organizations to apply hybrid 3D printing to the production of wind power generation components.  According to studies, hybrid 3D printing can speed up component development time up to 75 percent and reduce the use of material resources by up to 65 percent.

The inability to meet production requirements using conventional processes has led to the evolution of hybrid technology. This provides both the accuracy required and the ability to machine post-3D printing. The inclusion of a 3D scanning system helps wind power component manufacturers to achieve the right part geometrics and to repair damaged components. Hybrid 3D printing offers numerous potential for lowering costs because the material required is less of that required for the conventional manufacturing process.

Every component of the wind turbine can be benefitted by 3D printing, by making it possible to produce complex shapes and contours, or by reducing the time required for manufacturing. The advantage is likely to be for complex components that are difficult to manufacture by conventional methods. Hybrid 3D printing will enable the more efficient development of aerodynamic designs and reduce the cost of wind energy.  In the 3D printing process, manufacturers can also add specific high-wear materials in thin layers at areas that are exposed to high stresses, thus increasing the reliability and resistance of that component.

Hybrid 3D printing can also have a significant impact on the wind energy supply chain. Fewer subcomponents required will optimize the production of components. This can also avoid the need for transportation and storage hassles. The availability of parts will also reduce maintenance and operational costs and downtime in the wind energy industry. Many separate components can be manufactured as a single component with hybrid 3D manufacturing, which can reduce labor and costs and increase the lifespan of the machine.

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