3D printing in high energy physics

3D принтер в ЦЕРНе

In order not to start each post with a dry narrative of purely scientific facts and speculations, I suggest you smoothly immerse yourself in the atmosphere of harsh physicists through one of the most popular high-tech topics of recent years (no, this will not be about cats).
Today I will tell you about 3D printing in relation to solving several problems, one way or another connected with high energy physics.

About a month ago, the daily journal “Fermilab Today” of the Enrico Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory published a note about the hard workdays of engineers and scientists of this laboratory, and 3D printing, as a remedy for all problems.
So, back in 2008, the junior researcher at the Fermi Laboratory, Mauricio Lopes, began creating a model of some spiral solenoid made of cardboard to justify the feasibility of the concept of the model being developed. This process (quite expected) went very slowly, Lopez's patience snapped, and he took care of the purchase of a 3D printing installation. In October 2009, the laboratory received the long-awaited 3D printer for printing plastic models. And, as they say, it started - plastic prototypes began to be printed (for example, a photo of prototypes of superconducting cables made of stannide - Nb3Sn alloy) and metal parts ( photo cores for winding superconducting magnets: on the left - obtained using 3D printing, on the right - made in the traditional way).

An interesting seminar was held a week ago at CERN , at which a report was read on the topic “A new installation for 3D printing in a polymer materials laboratory. The possibilities and limits of its application. " You can view the slides here .

Currently, CERN uses the following three-dimensional printing technologies: