Are metal 3D printed trees the future of Christmas? No, but they might be the future of turbines

If you’re getting bored of sticking up the same old green, shed-happy Chrimbo tree every year, then Olaf Rehme from Siemens Corporate Technology might have the very thing for you. He’s turned the power of Siemens’ powerful Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology to good use, printing off a set of beautifully detailed nickel alloy Christmas trees3D printed christmas trees

Siemens CT hopes, eventually, this technology will speed up the efficiency and quality of its gas turbine production processes.

It begins with a high powered laser beam that runs across a metal powder resin. As the laser moves, following the directions of a Computer Aided Design file, it draws the resin together, forming the object in a series of layers.

This allows the manufacturer to create objects quickly and with a superb degree of detail and the bare minimum of post-print work. At the moment, Siemens CT are using it to reprint defective burner parts for its turbines, which reduce repair time by about 90%.

It is not yet powerful enough, however, to create turbine blades themselves as it cannot deliver objects that can deform under stress, which is key for a turbine blade.

It is, however, powerful enough to print snazzy, futuristic looking Christmas trees. See you in the New Year!

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