Additive manufacturing impacts the mining industry in different aspects.
Mines are most of the time in remote and high-risk locations that are not easily accessible and require multi-modal transportation to get to.
For visualization purposes.
Just like surgeons need visibility on a patient’s tumor before a surgery, visualizing the terrain of the mine’s location can be useful in many ways. 3D Printing can help represent mining operations, topological and geological data, mine designs etc.
For on-site production.
Because mines are in remote locations, sourcing of replacement parts is difficult and the slightest broken part can create important downtimes.
By giving access to digital copies of spare parts to mines in remote locations, along with digital manufacturing equipment such as 3D printers, mines can be self-sufficient in terms of parts replacement, reducing downtime, transportation costs and environmental footprint of international shipping to remote locations.