3D printing is an additive layer manufacturing technique that creates three-dimensional objects from a digital model.
What Is It?
3D printing consists of manufacturing three-dimensional objects from a digital model. A series of techniques are used to create the model through the addition of layers of material until the required size, shape, and characteristics are achieved.
The first 3D printer on the market (1995) used localized polymer injection techniques to create layers. As 3D printing has evolved, other techniques offering different types of printing and finishes have come onto the market, covering everything from plastics (PLA, ABS, Nylon) to ceramics, metals and concrete, among others.
In some cases, 3D printing is advantageous when compared to traditional manufacturing: complex pieces can be designed and manufactured simply, quickly and at a low cost.
3D printing is able to create unique pieces and generates no waste. In addition, 3D printing may soon become key to the circular economy, as a used object can be melted and re-used to create a new one, therefore reducing CO2 emissions.
3D Printing at Ferrovial
Our Digital Hub has staff specializing in 3D printing technology. We also have our own 3D printing laboratory with specific design and modeling software, a 3D scanner, and various types of printers and post-processing equipment to manufacture objects of different sizes and properties.
We also collaborate with a network of partners and suppliers that work with other types of equipment that print different types of materials (metals, concrete) and sizes.
In addition, at Ferrovial we have created the first portal dedicated to 3D printing. On the one hand, this portal allows users to learn about the initiatives being carried out with this technology and, on the other hand, identify new opportunities within the work carried out by our company.
Our most prominent 3D printing projects include: repairing railway tracks, designing and manufacturing a tool-holding vehicle, creating construction mockups, manufacturing pieces for building maintenance work, and printing real pieces for civil infrastructures.