As a Process Engineer at Continental, Kyle Krivitsky uses 3D printers at the company’s Georgia plant to aid in the production of conveyor belt fabric used in the agricultural and mining industry.
“I had not gotten the opportunity to work with 3D printers until earlier this year, when my plant team came up with an idea to adapt older style yarn production on a newer machine, and I proposed the idea to utilize 3D printing technology as a solution,” Kyle says. “After trialing designs on a smaller printer, I reached out to Ultimaker because of the dual nozzle, and advanced material capabilities. Since then, I have been ecstatic about finding new applications in our plant to bring in additional savings.”
Working with his team, Kyle designed 3D printed adapters that allow to produce conveyor belt warp yarn on a spool – which is essential for the team’s production setup – on a faster, more efficient machine, which will result in less production costs, and reduced energy consumption. Using 3D printers allowed Kyle to fine-tune and optimize the adapters’ design – and produce working prototypes. Additionally, Kyle and his team uses the technology to redesign and produce stock machine components at a lower cost – and which last significantly longer than the original part.
From complex aircraft components, to artificial organs, and even sustainable foods and meats, there have been so many breakthroughs that have occurred since the field originated. I look at 3D printing as a potential undiscovered solution to almost anything, waiting to be explored and found.