Drill bit innovator exploring 3D laser manufacturing systems

BlueFire Equipment Corp. has formed an additive manufacturing initiative for producing its polycrystalline diamond cutter drill bits.

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Houston, TX - BlueFire Equipment Corp., a designer and manufacturer of proprietary drilling technologies for the exploration and production of oil and gas in the US, has formed a 3D or additive manufacturing initiative for the production of its proprietary polycrystalline diamond cutter (PDC) drill bits.

BlueFire's development team is exploring the application of 3D methods for producing the company's drill bits and is currently working with a Texas-based 3D scanning company to create a digitized model of the proprietary PDC drill bit for 3D integration. Using the 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software, the team is developing ways to integrate the company’s technology with game-changing 3D technology. The team is also working to become a frontrunner in the field of down-hole drilling tools employing additive manufacturing systems.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a process by which three-dimensional objects in a diversity of shapes are manufactured by adding material using digital models. Metallic, plastic, ceramic, or composite materials can be employed using this process, which involves building the required object by adding successive layers of material to achieve the desired shape.

3D printing uses a variety of different types of technologies. Stereolithography (SLA) focuses a beam of ultraviolet light onto a vat of liquid photocurable resin, drawing out the 3D model one layer at a time. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) produces an object by extruding a stream of melted material to form stacked layers. Selective laser sintering (SLS) uses a laser to fuse powdered materials layer by layer to form the object.

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