Rossi: Plans to 3D Print E-Cats [Updated]

Here’s an interesting coincidence. After having posted about the 3D printed metal gun today, someone posted a link to the CNS story on the Journal of Nuclear Physics and asked Rossi’s opinion about the chance of 3D printing E-Cats.

Rossi responded:

Italo R.:
You read out thoughts: yesterday in the meeting room of the US factory ot our US Partner we talked about the 3D Printing application for the manufacturing of our reactors. Our model id the work done by Rolls Royce to manufactire their turbines.
Your comment sounds smart.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

The Financial times just published an article by Jeevan Vasagar which discusses Rolls Royce’s plans to start 3D printing parts for their jet engines as a way to speed up production and make lighter parts. In the aerospace industry it can take up to 18 months to receive a part after it is ordered, because of the time it takes to machine it. 3D printing would speed up the lead time involved.

This is encouraging news from Andrea Rossi — 3D printing could be a factor that will help speed up manufacturing and proliferation of the E-Cat, and it sounds like the the team is planning to keep up with the very latest production methods. The E-Cat seems to be a far simpler device than a jet engine, and it could be that 3D printing techniques will become the predominant method of manufacturing the reactors. This could mean a reduction in the number of staff required to produce the cats, and maybe less need for the robots Rossi has often talked about.

UPDATE: This response from Andrea Rossi just came in on the JONP in response to some questions I sent yesterday:

Frank Acland:
We are for now brainstorming about 3D Printing tech. We are studying the case history of Rolls Royce turbines to analyze the possibility of application per analogy to the E-Cat industrial production, obviously limited to specific particulars, like for example particulars of the reactors modules, which can be assimilated to the particulars of a turbine. At the moment we cannot talk about particulars, but if we want to compete with the low cost geopolitic areas and maintain the production in the USA we have to explore all the possible systems to cheap down the production costs. Sooner or later reverse engineering will be made and competition will be born: we must be prepared to the incoming war.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

  • David

    Isn’t it obvious by now that Rossi just runs from one claim to another to keep the E-Cat story alive? He never follows through with anything he says he’s going to do.

    • bachcole

      David, get a phucking clue! What do you think the May 2013 Levi Elforsk report is: http://www.e-catworld.com/may-2013-3rd-party-test/ Sorry if my patience is lacking this morning; I only got 5 hours of sleep.

      • David

        bachcole, the 3rd party test wasn’t done by a real independent 3rd party. It was done by a group of Rossi’s friends. They also allowed Rossi to provide the mains power and also help with the testing, both of which invalidate the test. The testing wasn’t even properly done in any case.

        • AlainCo

          Who else Levy is a relation of Rossi ?
          Does simply having participated an e-cat test is enough to be judged a friend, a fraud partner ?

          they are from 4 universities, and 2 countries ?

          Is that not a typical conspiracy theory ?

          anyway unfounded claim are will be effective since all consensus-true-believers will follow your unproven claims as true…

  • Omega Z

    The H-Cat is still in R&D stage. Likely a lot of time waiting. Many hours or days while it is running & producing Data.
    Utilizing this time to explore different possibilities, finding ways to reduce production costs & such is just a good use of that time.

    Time that wont have to be spent on this latter.

    • Billy Jackson

      Intellectually i understand where your getting at. at the same time with all the nay saying and previous discussions that have to do with Rossi being a scam or not.. now is not the time to be discussing things that are still a bit out of reach. lets keep the goal of a sustainable e-cat in the forefront so that we can eventually see a verifiable product and put an end to the debate about the e-cat being real or fake.

  • Ted-X

    It makes sense if, for example, used to deposit a thin sponge of nickel on copper ribs, or a similar geometry. 3D printing is perfect for making sponges. The rest should be made by CNC or a similar mass production technology.

  • catbauer24

    John Rohner really liked 3D printers too and thought they were the greatest thing ever to help him get his engines manufactured. Anyone remember JR by the way?

  • Guest

    John Rohner really liked 3D printers too and thought they were the greatest thing ever to help him get his Papp engines manufactured. Anyone remember JR by the way?

  • Doktor Bob

    May God bless us all with his “nuclear powered defense drones” that protects us from the weapons we created before that…

    yeah… that makes sense…

  • dickyaesta

    The answer to all your wishes small 3d metal printer under 1.000$ ?!! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/minimetalmaker-a-small-3d-printer-that-fabricates-with-precious-metal-clay Well maybe it can contribute to some metal parts of the Ecat, but certainly very entertaining for the home market and Christmas 2014!!

    Saludos from Spain

  • Chris I

    “Sooner or later…” sez he! LOL as soon as it’s available to any Tom, Dick or Harry it will be sooner than sooner than soonest.

  • Allan Shura

    3D printing is more suited economically to the design and prototype phase. In the case of the rolls royce turbine it is a specialized low volume part. A robotic line with a conventional materials
    process would most likely be more economical for high volume low cost replication.

  • What if

    we don’t care if he even teleports those damn things … just get them out in the stores

  • US_Citizen71

    I have to agree with the previous posts that 3D printing the casing would be more expensive and time consuming than a CNC lathe unless it is made with multiple layers of different metals. Think layers of steel, tungsten and aluminium alternated to give a unique strength, radiological shielding and thermo conductive profile, but that is just a WAG. More likely it would be used to produce open cell foamed nickel with microscopic pores. The biggest problem with nickel powder other than toxicity would be it’s ability to move around in the core making a mobile reactor for any type of transportation use difficult to control.

    • Omega Z

      Agreed on the transportation Issue.
      At least other then large ships, trains, etc. They have size & stability.
      Smaller vehicles or a Battle tank going over rough terrain may have issues.
      But this is based on what we currently know about the E-cat & some of it’s components. They may not be an issue, but even if they should be, It’s an Engineering Issue that someone, Rossi or another will eventually overcome.

      We just need to avoid getting into a Dogma attitude of It can’t be done.
      Such as exists already with this technology.

  • Doktor Bob

    “we must be prepared to the incoming war”
    Maybe Rossi have spent to much time in America?
    Production of energy catalyzers all over the world should not be looked upon as a threat but as a blessing who will benefit the planet as a whole… or am I missing something?

    • bitplayer

      Maybe he meant business “war”

    • Pekka Janhunen

      He likes America, it’s an Italian invention… True, he wouldn’t suffer if everyone wants to copy his invention. But on the other hand, it’s the planet’s benefit if Rossi fights to make the E-cat as cheap to manufacture as possible.

    • Omega Z

      I Don’t see an Issue.
      This technology will be licensed all over the World by multiple players.
      The Math is Simple.
      7-Plus Billion people in the World.
      Would you limit your market to just a couple 100 million.
      The Capitalist/Free Market System would Never Allow this. Profits.
      We can’t even fully block/Embargo a small country of a few 10’s of millions from obtaining products or technology we wish them not to have. Best you can do is slow it down.

      I can Control a population that’s been appeased with a reasonable standard of living far easier then a Population that’s distraught & immersed in poverty. Consider, Which Group of the above do you think a Fanatic can gain the most supporters from.

      It would be U.S. Policy to promote Economic Stability. The Spread of this technology would be in Those/It’s interests.
      This has been a part of U.S. Policy since the End of World War II. Successful Early on, But poorly implemented over the decades since & Infiltrated by Corruption & Fraud. Thus the success of this policy has become fleeting.

      It’s my “Hope” that the Capitalist/Free Market System will spread this technology & have the effect of nullifying/voiding “Most” of the Fraud & corruption over a Period of time??? Fingers Crossed…

  • BroKeeper

    I agree, 3D Printers would be very useful in manufacturing certain parts of the E-Cat. The greatest value in my opinion is creating a very efficient and controllable artificial Ni and carbon graphene nano size substrate.

    A definition of Nanomaterial-based catalyst: “is usually heterogeneous catalysts broken up into metal nanoparticles in order to speed up the catalytic process. Metal nanoparticles have a higher surface area so there is increased catalytic activity because more catalytic reactions can occur at the same time.”

    Just as an idea, the cross section of the catalyst could be printed as a very small nano checker board patterned spaced wafers stacked alternately and offset to its neighbor wafer. The large surface area with gas channeling would significantly increase its activity and efficiency for grater hydrogen-to-hydrogen and/or hydrogen-to-nickel catalyzed fusion.

    The highly conductive graphene substrate with voltage storage capability could be wired directly with high frequency/voltage control to each Ni particle simultaneously providing a greater stable reaction. This could result in higher temperature and greater COP stability. Any other ideas?

    • bitplayer

      Sounds like that’s headed in the right direction. The key question is what are the dimensions of the smallest effective reaction site. Per Celani evidence, reaction sites seem to be small “crevasses” in the Ni-alloy matrix. If these could be created with micro-lithography / nano-assembly, we would be off the to races.

      • Wes

        Bingo.

  • Wantoffgrid

    Completely agree 3d printing at this stage makes no sense vs a cnc process. Raises the prospect they are a long way from mass production. That might make sense seeing we don’t know of any customer anywhere.

    • bachcole

      It makes sense if the inside is very complicated, and I am thinking that a complicated inside may enhance the reaction.

  • Omega Z

    Sorry I made my post earlier, but apparently didn’t hit the right key. I came back and just hit the return. I didn’t check for others posts.

    I Agree, Something Internally Intricate or another component we aren’t aware of. OR R&D purposes.
    Could be it just peeked their interests & upon learning more about it, They’ll make the same conclusion as we have.

    • Bob Greenyer

      I have been doing 3D for 26 years – it is my expertise. The company I have been in talks with already 3D prints turbine parts and I have discussed the feasibility of making small reactors with in-built heat exchangers, areas for resistive heating, internal electric discharge and exceptionally high surface area internal structures for potential reactive role and thermal extraction.

      There are few technologies that are additive and can deposit 20um layers with wonderful surface roughness, fully impermeable and can operate at extremely high temperatures.

      • Omega Z

        Bob Greenyer

        I Totally Agree. I’ve pointed out in my posts that it would be Fantastic at the R&D level verses having to mess with lathes, Molds & such.

        It also has it’s niches in areas such as Turbines as single component verses multiple components needing integration.(Welded/Bolted which can provide week points under extreme stress)
        But for the Most part, It can’t compete against Mass producible friendly products.

        You get a Biased view of these things on sites such as this. Were Tech nerds in one sense or another or dreamers.(Or Both)

        Should 3D printers inter homes in any big numbers it would be the Cheapies so the Kiddies can print out trinkets, Foody items & such.
        More Expensive systems will End Up like Exercise equipment. 99% will collect dust.

        The Serious Market will be Specialty shops, R&D, Small scale manufacturing, or hobbyists.

        Unless it can Print a Cheap & Perfect Steak of Our Preference
        Then All Bets are Off. Every Home with an Alpha will Own 2 or 3 or… 🙂 🙂

        • Fortyniner

          Current 3D printers are the equivalent of early inkjet technology, and still quite clunky. The future is most probably in seamless nano-assembly.

          http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/how-to-make-big-things-out-of-small-pieces-0815.html

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905203029.htm

          (I think the first link has been posted before on this forum)

          • Omega Z

            I’m waiting for Next Gen Technology.

            A Small package of Nanites & a container of raw material.
            Set both in the Garage.
            Next morning go out to the Garage & drive off in your new car. 🙂

            • bachcole

              LOL. Dream on.

              • Omega Z

                Yeah, Not In my lifetime. My 2nd choice would be a Star Trek Replicator, But that would probably involve some assembly.

            • Bob Greenyer

              Omega Z

              I met the directors of this company, http://www.3dhubs.com/ basically a company with a 3D printer, gets certified and then becomes a print shop for your work. As more people get machines that print in more materials at finer resolutions, many things will become possible.

              As it happens, I had a great chat with the designer of the Urbee, a largely 3D printed car. I can imagine a day when you could get a new design / replacement body panel for your car. My smart car had plastic body panels you could swap in 1 hour, If the mount points were made public domain, people could let rip with their own body shells.

              • Omega Z

                Yes, Custom parts are likely, But would be done by a local Customizer.
                I don’t see many among the masses doing their own outside of the Occasional hobbyist.

                I am amazed of the number of people who do less & less themselves & rely on others, Then Complain about the Cost.

                DIYers seems to be a dying phenomena. Many are becoming helpless.

  • Omega Z

    3D Printing

    If they are actually considering this, It would be an Indicator that there is something pretty Intricate on the Internals of the Core. Or It’s for R&D Purposes.

    I say this because I’ve seen what a Computerized CNC Lathe can Do.

    An approximate 8″ across by 2.5″ tall Tapered bearing inner race. It takes an 8″ steel pipe. Cuts the O.D. & Tracks/Groves to the desired taper. Cuts the I.D.- Cuts the part off all in about 2 or 3 minutes. This is precision cutting within a couple thousands. This part is now ready to be heat treated, carbonized/Cased, Heat sized and headed to grinding at which point it’s ready for assembly. You now have a bearing for a tractor or whatever.

    The Operator of the CNC Lathe has 1 on either side of him. His job consists of gauging the finished part, placing it in a parts tank. Makes fine tune adjustments if needed. Maybe couple times in an 8 hour shift. Sometimes he needs to change a Carbide cutter(They last multiple shifts). Depending on the specific size of the part, These 2 machines will produce 360 to 700 per shift.

    A Stock handler brings in his steel pipe in bundles/lays on the rack. The Operator doesn’t do much. Position the pipe & the Machine self loads. Most of their time is baby sitting. These Machines are capable of making many different size parts. So about half the 100 Operators at this facility are Trained setup people. A Very few also have full programing abilities. Trouble shooters.

    Following is Some Important Factors for considering 3D printing.

    Every few days or weeks(some runs only last a few hours), they re-setup the machine for a different part. This process can take 16 to 48 hours depending on the size & sophistication of the part and the actual size of steel pipe. Pipe varies shipment to shipment. It’s not that precise when you start measuring 1000ths of an inch. Wages & Benefits are about $50 per hour on this job..Setup/Change is expensive..

    Doesn’t matter if they’ve made this same part over & over for 30 years. Every order change gets a new setup from scratch. Your probably thinking what I was thinking at the time, WHAT???

    With the Above knowledge: There is No Way a 3D printer can compete with Mass production of this type. Printing metal is a slow process Nano layer by Nano layer, heating each layer by laser. And if it was just a simple stainless steel pipe, The above parts output would be extremely higher. Add a Zero.

    1. Unless, Something internal(External wouldn’t be a problem) Is very intricate & needs done manually which consumes a lot of time that Machines aren’t sophisticated enough yet to do.

    2. Another possibility-Research & Development- if your making many different prototypes only slightly different OR Looking to Optimize an Effect & Precision is necessary. Manually would be time exhausting & Tedious. Or in different scales. 1Kw, 5Kw, 10Kw, Etc, Etc…

    Both 1 & 2 would justify 3D printing these Cores.
    If 1 isn’t an Issue, 2 would be regardless. It could save 100’s or 1000’s of hours in R&D. You could make a change & print it faster then you could set up a lathe. And be more precise.

    The Above CNC’s are near 3 decades old. New technologies developed in the last few years, of which 3D scanning would automate the many hours of setup to a matter of minutes even auto measuring the size of each new pipe would greatly increase their efficiency. Even scanning each part as it’s made eliminating a person for gauging them. A bot sets the part in the parts tank. You now only need 1 tech to babysit maybe 10 machines.

    So Except for 1 & 2, 3D printing E-cat cores. Can’t compete. Neither in material cost or time/labor. And the CNC’s are a fraction$ of the 3D printer they printed the Gun with.
    Another Possibility would be Some Specific Component we aren’t aware of that’s not mass production friendly.

    • Fortyniner

      Also laser ablation machining is coming up on an outside track. Primarily used for non-metal components such as ceramics, but I’ve heard of it being used to shape metals too. As laser outputs increase steadily this may become an option for prototyping at first, then maybe production.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_machining

      • Omega Z

        Peter

        Those cheap circular saw blades in blister-paks.
        Some are punched out in a press.
        Some Cut by laser.
        Some Cut with water jets- They never get dull like a blade.

        Anyway, still mulling over what has been said And it has occurred to me.
        We’re reading way to much into this. Basically-
        ———————–
        It’s Interesting that you mention 3D printing.
        We were just talking about Rolls Royce printing turbines yesterday and considering whether this could be used in printing our cores.
        ———————–
        This is a New Technology & as you see here, It’s extremely Fascinating.
        No doubt this would catch their attention as it has ours, I Mean, “Rolls Royce-Turbines”, It’s something to seriously consider & Look into.

        However, Once you get to the particulars, Cost, and Time, It moves to the Very Interesting column. Probably not a candidate for mass production.

        But for R&D with constant Changes taking place, I Could see Major benefits. Design Changes in this situation would be quick & Easy compared to going into the Shop & using a lathe. Very time consuming. Dirty oily too. Contamination possibilities.

        He may wonder how on earth he ever got by without it.

    • Casey

      There is also technology of making small and of complicated shape parts from powdered metals and baked in vacuum furnaces.
      This way different metal can be mixed together

      • Omega Z

        I’m aware of many of those processes & It would involve dealing with Intricate details or material savings verses the added costs of the additional processes involved. I Believe what you mention would be Sinter Forging. Also use in some Bearings. For some bearings,(Sinter bearings take more time then CNC cutting) it provides large savings in material waste(Up to 50%) & as Bearings recieve additional heat treat/carbonizing after their cut, provide a finished product very comparable to pre proccessed steel pipe. All falls under cost/benefit analyses.

        I can only assume that if the E-cat cores were to be printed, It has to do with Intricate Internal details to be cost effective. If it were just a steel pipe, CNC cutting & boring would be cheaper, Faster, with extremely little waste.

        Even the Process you mention would likely be cheaper then printing if done in mass.

        We have to remember that they may be looking at some other component in the E-cat other then the Core.

  • Christina

    Amazing!

    Simply amazing!