May 2, 2023 - Business

This company is 3D printing turbine parts

Part of Seurat Technologies' 3D printing system.

The hardware frame of Seurat's alpha system at the company's pilot factory in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies

Companies are using 3D printers to make tourniquets, bicycles and shoes. Now, Wilmington-based Seurat Technologies will be 3D printing turbine parts.

Driving the news: Siemens Energy, the multinational energy tech company, is contracting Seurat to 3D print 59 tons of parts over six years.

James DeMuth, Seurat's CEO and co-founder, tells Axios its industrial metal printers can produce sealing segments (the turbine parts Siemens will buy) faster, cheaper and greener than what traditional manufacturers make with metal casting.

  • How much Seurat will bring in from this deal is unclear. Siemens and Seurat declined to disclose financial terms.

Why it matters: If successful, Seurat would offer the latest example that 3D printing can make industrial parts, and mass produce them to compete with — and maybe replace — traditional manufacturing.

The partnership comes as the Biden administration calls for lower industrial emissions. Manufacturing accounted for one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021, not counting the electrical power used in the process, per the Environmental Protection Agency.

What they’re saying: "We're coming in and saying we have an opportunity here to really do mass manufacturing, but you need to have volumes that are material to really make it worthwhile, right?" DeMuth says.

  • He believes that deals like the Siemens partnership could be scaled up to involve hundreds of machines and translate into hundreds of jobs.

Zoom out: Massachusetts is a 3D printing hub, with dozens of these companies spinning out of universities and other institutions.

  • "By replacing those technologies with this cleaner printing of these metals and materials, it’s really going to help energize or re-imagine how we manufacture these critical components," says Christine Nolan, director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

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