Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Lower cylinder | A transfer that felt like art

    Art has little to do with the transfer of a giant component. On Monday however, as ITER was preparing to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's 500th anniversary, scienc [...]

    Read more

  • Event | ITER in Da Vinci mode

    'The most noble pleasure is the joy of understanding.' Written more than 500 years ago in the private journal of Leonardo da Vinci, these words still felt timel [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | When the Pit inspires an artist

    On a Sunday morning, when all is silent and still on the ITER platform, an eerie dimension is added to the Tokamak Pit. Hidden eyes seem to peer through the [...]

    Read more

  • Leonardo and innovation | In the steps of a giant

    To the members of a panel on innovation and Italian leadership, the moderator had one question: how do you see Leonardo da Vinci's scientific method—a systemati [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | Sandblasting

    Whether at home or in a nuclear installation, a painting job begins with surface preparation. In the ITER Tokamak Pit, close to 3,000 square metres of wall need [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Europe

3D printing for small-size components

The European Domestic Agency is investigating the benefits of 3D printing for the fabrication of smaller size (up to metre-scale) metal components. The technique seems particularly well adapted to unconventionally shaped objects or those with complex interior geometry.

The European Domestic Agency's Stefan Wikman shows the result of his work with a Swedish consortium to examine the feasibility of 3D printing techniques to manufacture ITER components. (Click to view larger version...)
The European Domestic Agency's Stefan Wikman shows the result of his work with a Swedish consortium to examine the feasibility of 3D printing techniques to manufacture ITER components.
The new method, known as additive manufacturing, uses computer-aided design (CAD) drawings as a starting point to directly manufacture 3D objects in a more efficient and cost-effective approach that avoids the mockups and prototypes of traditional manufacturing. The 3D printing equipment is able to read CAD data and lay down successive layers of liquid, melted powder or sheet material to form the component—a process that may be particularly well suited to some of the highly complex components required for ITER.

Together with a Swedish consortium, the European Domestic Agency is studying the feasibility of different 3D printing techniques for the manufacturing of the first wall beam--a metal beam that will fix plasma-facing panels to each ITER blanket module. The component, made of ITER-grade stainless steel, has a very complex internal structure to accommodate the passage of cooling water pipes.

The first feasibility studies have shown that the first wall beam components produced this way meet ITER specifications for physical properties and mechanical stress tolerances. The next step is to apply this method to the fabrication of larger components.

The 3D printing techniques for stainless steel components developed as part of Europe's research and development for ITER open up spin-off opportunities for the manufacturing of complex unconventionally shaped components in other fields. Potential areas for application of the 3D manufacturing technology include power plants and car engines.

Read the full article on the European Domestic Agency website here.


return to the latest published articles