Cost competitive 3D printed metal component

Sandvik presented Etteplan with a challenge: to optimize and redesign a Geneva drive rotator piece for metal additive manufacturing, also known as metal 3D printing, for a price that is competitive with traditional manufacturing.


The project goals included producing a feasible, interchangeable solution that is lightweight and has low cost. This same part had been optimized by a thesis worker hired by Sandvik previously, resulting in a design that was 72% lighter than the original but also 300% more expensive.

Sandvik entrusted the project to Etteplan, who has in the last years invested heavily in competence development for additive manufacturing design and in the deployment of superior simulation tools for material optimization.

3D printed rotator piece

Sandvik-3d-printed-piece.png Sandvik2.png

Figure 1. Sandvik’s Geneva drive traditionally manufactured rotator piece (top & bottom left) and an AM redesign for the piece conducted by a Sandvik thesis worker (red, bottom right).

Download the Sandvik case study to learn more about the additive manufacturing design process.

Exceeding expectations for cost and design

The resulting design exceeded Sandvik’s expectations and goals for the project. Etteplan was able to design Sandvik’s Geneva drive rotator piece with more than 80% reduction in weight and 5% reduction in price compared to the traditionally manufactured component.

When it comes to metal additive manufacturing , Etteplan Additive Manufacturing & Optimization team has the moto ‘Added value comes from design’. Evidence of this adage was seen clearly in this case.  One of the key factors contributing to the positive outcome was Etteplan’s team approach with deployment of simulation tools and additive manufacturing design expertise. The team succeeded in designing a component which is smaller and largely self-supporting, thus requiring less material, having a shorter build time, and low post-processing costs. With the help of advanced additive manufacturing cost estimation tools, the team was able to estimate the manufacturing costs of the component. This improved the bargaining power of Sandvik in the negotiations with an AM service bureau.

“Etteplan’s expertise in additive manufacturing design is outstanding and we grew our internal knowledge base considerably during the project. With Etteplan’s help we managed to reduce costs and material usage and still get a high-quality component for our product. Etteplan’s additive manufacturing team played also a crucial role in evaluating different printing options and costs and finding the best additive manufacturing printing company for our product”, says Sami Järventausta, Engineering Manager at Sandvik.


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Tero Hämeenaho
Tero Hämeenaho
Department Manager, Additive Manufacturing and Optimization