Metal 3D printing for the Engineering Department of Salento
The CSEEM (Center for Sustainable Energy Environment and Mobility) aims for excellence in metal 3D printing with the purchase of a ProX 100 and the experience of 3DZ</h3
The desire to always be an innovation leader led the CSEEM (Center for Sustainability Energy Environment and Mobility) of the ‘University of Salento’, to choose a technology that most of all is revolutionizing the whole traditional manufacturing industries. We are talking about the metal 3D printing with the metal 3D printer by 3D Systems ProX 100.
The CSEEM (Center for Sustainability Energy Environment and Mobility) is a research group from the University of Lecce that, within the Department of Innovation Engineering, aims to study the most innovative technologies for research purposes. The activities encompass, for example, thermodynamics applications, fluid dynamics and combustion. The area of interest led to important projects, especially aimed to the modeling of diesel and gasoline engines, for the internal combustion engines’s performance optimization, for the design of fuel injection systems, the combustion analysis of alternative fuels and for the reduction of pollutant emissions.
With its 1.500 square meters of laboratories, 100 people (among teachers and researchers) and 150 employees, the department aims at the promotion and dissemination of technological innovation. The Center for Sustainability Energy Environment and Mobility is seamlessly integrated with the Italian companies that bet on technological excellence to face the innovation challenges.
In the picture: the University of Salento’s research team with 3DZ during the ProX 100 setup operations
With these premises, the adoption of the Direct Metal Printing (DMP) – or metal 3D printing – was a necessary step for the department. The final choice, after thorough analysis, was on a ProX 100 by 3D Systems. The possibility to manage metallic materials in a highly flexible way, starting from a three-dimensional CAD model, allows complete freedom of forms. In addition, the ability to make changes to the products without significant extra time and costs to set-up the machine, is another feature that CSEEM found in the DMP printer by 3D Systems, distributed in Italy by 3DZ.
The specialization of the CSEEM team is unique in this field. For this reason, the metal 3D printer ProX 100 perfect matches the researchers purposes. The precision levels required by their projects, finishes and dimensional tolerances, ask for a professional machine with high performance. After thorough analysis, the choice of the research center fell on the 3D Systems’s metal printers. 3DZ was chosen instead to provide them assistance and local support. All this to give functionality to the sophisticated geometry of the conceived components that are designed and patented by the research team.
Professor De Risi focuses his research in the development of innovative non-intrusive measurement techniques to study the combustion of stationary and non-stationary diffusive flames and to investigate fluid dynamics of the spray. He has strongly urged to adopt the metal 3D printing technology. The research team has been at the forefront of many pioneering projects, such as the Solar. A project that aims at identifying alternative carrier fluids for Solar Power, study new concentrator systems, new thermodynamic cycles useful to the Solar Thermal, and identify new concepts for high-temperature storage. Another project, among the many, was about the redesign of a part of the engine with optical access AVL (a four-stroke direct injection diesel engine with single-cylinder) to optimize some internal maintenance procedures.
Why a DMP Printer (metal 3D printer)? Which projects were asking for it?
Professor De Risi well understood the need to make the most of this technology: “The ProX 100 will help us to design a nanofluids ORC turbine. The plan is to create optimized paths within the turbine in order to avoid particles deposits.” The orc turbines recover waste heat to produce valuable energy, or electricity. “Another upcoming project, on which the ProX 100 will be crucial, is the one that deals with an innovative heat exchanger, where the target is the thermal efficiency maximization” De Risi adds “we are very pleased with the choice made and 3DZ supported us in a promptly and tempestive way, providing all the necessary information.” The next step, as De Risi said, “is the use of ceramic materials for a solar catalyst for the conversion of CO2 into hydrocarbons. We already created the “cold” part in polymers with 3D printing, now, with the ProX 100 we would like to manufacture the “hot” component“.