Rossi on Manufacture of Plants, 3-D Printing, Competition [Update: IH ‘Very Seriously’ Studying Metal 3D Printing’]

I asked a couple of questions today of Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics regarding the future development and manufacture of E-Cat Plants:

Q: What will be the estimated cost of a 1MW plant like the one you are now operating?

Andrea Rossi
May 17th, 2015 at 8:29 AM
Frank Acland:
It is still very difficult to say how much will be the price after the possibility to make a mass production. Our strategy, though, is to defeat the competition making prices that make reverse engineering pointless. Also in this fields, as in all the others, competition will make the happiness of the Customers… I foresee a strong battle. Related to this question of yours: the NASA magazine “Tech Briefs”, in the issue of May 2015, has published a very interesting “round table” regarding the state of the art of 3D Printing technology. This could be the real game changer in the manufacturing system. We are studying it to invent a system of application of this tech fit for our needs. This is another filler of the long nights inside the 1 MW plant in operation.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

Q: About how long do you estimate it will take to build a 1MW plant similar to the one you are testing?

Andrea Rossi
May 17th, 2015 at 8:34 AM
Frank Acland:
The delivery time for a 1 MW E-Cat, after the signature of the sale contract, can be between 3 and 6 months, based on the range of the amount of orders we assume to get, if the test on course will give positive results.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

It’s interesting to know that Rossi and Co. are studying the 3D Printing options for manufacturing of E-Cats. Perhaps they are thinking it will allow the for greater savings through the highly automated production that 3D printing allows, or maybe they are anticipating that there will be need for quick changes in design as the technology progresses. Here’s a link to the NASA Tech Briefs issue that he is referring to, titled 3D Printing: Changing the Economics of Manufacturing Custom Components:
http://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/18-ntb/white-papers/manufacturing-and-prototyping/21754

UPDATE (May 20, 2015)

More question and answer on the JONP about 3D Printing:

Q: Have you news about the 3D printing?

A: Andrea Rossi
May 20th, 2015 at 3:13 PM
JC Renoir:
Yes, I am in contact with the main manufacturer of 3D systems for production of metal fabricated machines, and we are studying seriously the issue, very seriously. I am extremely curious about this issue. Could become very important. We already had economic analysis and the budgets are walkable. Much due diligence has to be done yet.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

It’s interesting that Rossi seems so serious and curious about 3D printings in metals, and that he is in touch with the ‘main manufacturer’ of metal 3D printing systems — I wonder if it could be Stratsys, probably the largest commercial 3D printing company out there right now, which has a ‘Direct Metal Laser Sintering‘ system which the company says deals with ‘high temperature applications’.

  • TomR

    Everything could be done in-house by trusted people.

  • Ted-X

    The sol-gel technology might be applicable to 3D printing. Sol-gel process produces ceramics.

  • http://magicmusicandmore.com/ Barry

    M Swartz is experimenting with a 3D printer in making the NANORS.

  • gdaigle

    I hope it is Statrasys. I helped them design their first commercial 3D printer. They are a very reputable firm.

    • Verne

      I think ExOne may Be the company. They have focused on industrial machines with metal fabrication

    • Andreas Moraitis

      My first guess was not Stratasys, but 3D Systems (note Rossi’s wording), who are somewhat bigger in terms of market capitalization. GE is also strong player in additive manufacturing. I do not know if they are developing their own printers, though.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Rather surprised Rossi has to look into these manufacturing details when he has IH!? Gives us more of an insight into their relationship?

    JC Renoir:
    Yes, I am in contact with the main manufacturer of 3D systems for production of metal fabricated machines, and we are studying seriously the issue, very seriously. I am extremely curious about this issue. Could become very important. We already had economic analysis and the budgets are walkable. Much due diligence has to be done yet.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

    • TomR

      It probably is not because he has to, but because he wants to. The economic analysis and the budget work was probably done by IH.

      • Bernie Koppenhofer

        Could be, I hope you are right. We just do not hear of any activity coming from IH.

  • Buck

    I just read the following exchange and was deeply surprised.

    Rossi’s statement that an advanced design has now be developed for a stable 250kW output for a single E-Cat module is a Big Wow.

    This is a far cry from 10kW units and suggests that mega-watt configurations will take far less space than a shipping container.

    I am reminded that the Kockums V4-275R Stirling engine is rated at between 75 to 100 kW depending upon the source of information

    Link>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland-class_submarine

    Link>> http://pia.sagepub.com/content/202/4/257.abstract

    ++++++++++++
    Fyodor
    May 18th, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Mr. Rossi

    I hope that all is well with you.

    I understand that you have focused on smaller (10kW) modular e-cats in part for the redundancy and reliability that comes from smaller units. I was wondering if it were possible to build larger individual E-cats with higher power outputs. Can they go to 50KW or 100KW with the same level of reliability and control or do they stop scaling up at some point?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I hope that they are letting you out of the plant every once and a while to get some air.

    Best Regards

    Fyodor

    —————————

    Andrea Rossi
    May 18th, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Fyodor:

    Yes, we arrived to modules of 250 kW quite reliable.

    Warm Regards,

    A.R.

    • TomR

      Just to remind everyone that the 250 KW modules are of the low temperature variant.

      Steven N. Karels

      May 19th, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Dear Andrea Rossi,

      What are the largest High Temperature eCat reactors you have successfully developed/demonstrated? You previously posted the 250kW reactors were of the low temperature variant.

      Andrea Rossi

      May 19th, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      Steven N. Karels:
      3.5 kW
      Warm Regards,
      A.R.

  • bfast

    “It’s interesting to know that Rossi and Co. are studying the 3D Printing options for manufacturing of E-Cats.”

    3D printing is an extremely powerful tool for building prototypes. It has some (as yet very limited) ability to produce what cannot be produced by other manufacturing processes. However, until 3D printing gets A WHOLE LOT better, it offers no advantage over mass processing techniques, and it is slow and cumbersome. 3D printing is about as immature of technology as are E-Cats.

    • Omega Z

      As you say, 3D printing is great for prototype items. It can greatly reduce time & costs. Also for limited production products requiring expensive tooling. It’s also effective for very intricate components that require many setups for machining.

      That said, It will likely never be cheaper then large volume mass production. There are processes that by the time the printer positions itself to print a part, mass production has already made hundreds.

      I think Rossi’s interest in 3D printing is for a couple very specific parts that are much more complex then known by those here at ECW. I get the impression from all Rossi’s statements that the Reactor core is anything but simple. There is something very intricate about it or it’s internal design.

      • Greg Leonard

        There are some things you can do with additive manufacture, which cannot be done any other way – multiple cavities for instance.

  • HAL9000

    HAL9000

    e-cat, humanity’s next-to-last invention?

  • Omega Z

    I believe I recall Rossi saying most everything will be outsourced except the proprietary components. The Reactors & control board will be manufactured by them.. There is a lot to be said for manufacturing the 1st units themselves. Much can be learned & improvements implemented much faster.

    Note Apple started in a garage & the first couple hundred were built by them. Today, Everything is built by Others with the Apple Logo applied. Apple today is primarily R&D, and Marketing & Sales.

  • Gerrit

    I estimated 6 months for delivery of a new plant to a new customer, so my estimation was correct.

    A new customer would most likely want to see his plant up and running for a few (==6) months before showing it to the world.

    That means, if we will not get the chance to visit the current plant, it will be a long, long wait until we get any independent facts about the e-cat. Somewhere around April 2017 !

    In the mean time we still haven’t seen a successful dog bone replication yet, even if there are a lot of talented people out there trying to get it.

    The prospect of another 2 years wait, after already waiting for 4 years is depressing.

    I hope that Industrial Heat find a way to give the cold fusion community sufficient information after the 400h test.

  • Warthog

    I think when Rossi talks about “3D Printing”, he does not mean “macro” printing as with plastic filaments, powders, and photochemicals, but the fabrication of nanostructures on surfaces. I suspect that once the “nuclear active environment” is completely (or even partially) understood, it will be possible to precisely fabricate such nanostructures with photolithography techniques now used to put transistors on silicon (or sapphire). Picture a “forest” of nickel nanotubes grown on the surface of a nickel sheet, which is then bent into a tube and welded along the horizontal seam with the nanostructured surface facing a hydrogen reservoir. No possible better structure for heat exchange (or at least I can’t think of one).

    • mcloki

      I’d think the heat exchange mechanisms could benefit from 3D printing.

  • Oystein Lande

    And this amazing 3D printed jet engine shows the possibilities ahead.

    http://www.gizmag.com/ge-fires-up-all-3d-printed-jet-einge/37448/

    Welcome to the future of manufacturing…. 😉

  • Greg Pierce

    Again,

    “if the test on course will give positive results.”

    This is mind boggling!!!

    • malkom700

      Meanwhile it has found out that the positive results are primarily meant to be a self-sustaining process that really is not definitely succeed.

      • Greg Pierce

        As Mark Cuban would say on Shark Tank, “I’m out” – good luck with all this…

        • malkom700

          I confess that I do not understand even their own contribution, neither this …