Friday, 8 July 2016

3D Printing in the Deep Sea

Subsea Equipment Manufacturer 3D prints Injection Tools using Direct Digital Manufacturing

“It used to take us six to eight days to produce a 26-inch injection head through CNC machining. Now, the same part can be completed within two days.”  Keith Burch / i-Tech


From laying underwater cables and pipes to offshore oil and gas exploration, modern subsea operations involve some of the most complex systems, and are constantly challenged by changing ocean environments. Driven by government regulations and market pressure to control oil production and maintain environmentally friendly practices, subsea equipment manufacturers are actively looking for solutions to reduce development and operation costs.


i-Tech is one of the leading global providers of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and intervention tooling solutions for offshore engineering. It operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced fleets of ROVs to support major global energy companies in many flagship projects in the depths of the ocean.

Pipeline engineers and designers at i-Tech are confronted with problems caused by underwater pressure, unpredictable weather conditions and strong ocean currents in their deep-water operations. Equipment reliability is of the utmost importance to ensure that tools can be used for extended periods of time with minimal corrosion and damage. To optimize the design, performance and application of its Chemical Stick Injection Tool (CSIT), i-Tech turned to Objective3D for a 3D printing solution.