Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Art and ITER | Two sisters, two suns and a monument to fusion

    Amid the gentle slopes of Asciano, Italy, there stands a stone window that frames the Sun on the summer solstice. It looks as though it might have always been t [...]

    Read more

  • Staff | The men and women of ITER

    They hail from Ahmedabad and Prague ... from Naka and Moscow ... from Seoul, Hefei, Atlanta and hundreds of other towns and cities across the 35 nations partici [...]

    Read more

  • ITER Talks | All about ITER and fusion

    Beginning this autumn, the ITER Organization will be launching a new video series to inform, inspire and educate. The first video—introducing the series and off [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | A majestic components enters the stage

    The floor of the Assembly Hall is an ever-changing stage. Like characters in a grand production, components of all size and shapes make a spectacular entry, pl [...]

    Read more

  • Magnet system | A set of spares for the long journey

    In about five years, ITER will embark on a long journey through largely uncharted territory. Conditions will be harsh and—despite all the calculations, modellin [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

3D cost containment

By providing designers with a concrete, three-dimensional experience of the object under development, mockups play an important part in the design and configuration process of the ITER installation's components.

Up to now, mockups have been produced by specialized companies using ITER Organization 3D files that contain component specifications.

Christophe Penot (right), designer, and Jérôme Ferréol of the Diagnostic Division support team: ''We realized that if we could test the feasibility of mockup manufacturing before sending the file to the contractor, we could save a significant amount of money.'' (Click to view larger version...)
Christophe Penot (right), designer, and Jérôme Ferréol of the Diagnostic Division support team: ''We realized that if we could test the feasibility of mockup manufacturing before sending the file to the contractor, we could save a significant amount of money.''
"In the mockup manufacturing process, the preparation of the 3D file represents the largest part of the work," explain Christophe Penot, designer, and Jérôme Ferréol of the Diagnostic Division support team.

However, a 3D file does not translate automatically into a 3D mockup: the component's features are sometimes so intricate that the contracting company needs to make modifications to the file to ensure technical feasibility—modifications that have a strong impact on the final cost.

"We realized that if we could test the feasibility of mockup manufacturing before sending the file to the contractor, we could save a significant amount of money."

Last December, an investment of approximately EUR 1,000 was made in an off-the-shelf 3D printer. After a couple of months of operation, it has turned into a significant cost containment tool for ITER.

The relatively cheap commercial 3D printer allows designers like Christophe to verify the feasibility of the 3D printing before the file is sent to the specialized company for actual mockup production. "If the file needs to be modified, we can do it in-house, which is much faster and less costly—especially if we have to do several mockups of the same component."

In the 3D printing process, three-dimensional objects are created by laying down successive layers of melted material (plastic or metal, for example). (Click to view larger version...)
In the 3D printing process, three-dimensional objects are created by laying down successive layers of melted material (plastic or metal, for example).
Producing a plastic 3D mockup in-house doesn't cost a lot: a mockup of an ITER port plug (0.1 percent of its actual size) for instance costs about five euros in raw material and the hours the designer spends in finalizing the 3D file. The printing itself takes between one hour and a few days depending on the complexity of the component.

And there's another important aspect to in-house 3D printing according to Christophe and Jérôme: "It is both rewarding and useful to have a physical rendition of an object that, up to then, was only virtual."

The small 3D printer has been operational since June. A dozen small mockups have already been produced—upper and equatorial port plugs, a closure flange, an interspace support structure, etc.—and the machine shows no sign of tiring. "It just needs a bit of maintenance, no more or less than the regular printer that it is sitting next to."

Click here to watch a short video clip of 3D printing at ITER.


return to the latest published articles