3D printing?

Chris F

Staff Member
They will be for sure. This article looks at how and when they will be used - worth a read:

The agriculture business might conjure images of old, rusty tractors and humble family farms, but, in reality, it is a global industry worth $2.4 trillion dominated by some of the world’s biggest corporations like corn king Cargill, John Deere, BASF and Bayer. For most of these companies, technology is key to success and the “smart agriculture” market was estimated to be worth around $7.53 billion in 2018. With that in mind, we thought we’d examine how agricultural equipment manufacturers are using 3D printing.

Though it is one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment in the world, John Deere has yet to use 3D printing for the production of end use parts. However, as of March 2019, the company was said to be “quickly building momentum toward how it could be used in producing parts and integrated into new product programs.” Tooling is described as John Deere’s “biggest success story”, with over 40 printers used to fabricate tools for the company’s factories. The corporation is also exploring additive production of spare parts.



Arable Farmer
Burton on trent
I have had one for a number of years,
Have printed many things for use around my CHP/Biomass plant, also printed custom GoPro mounts for my waterski boat , ski rope holders for the tower etc etc.
But designing you own prints is time consuming unless your familiar with that kind of CAD software.

Often it's easier to download someone else's prints and use them or mod them to your needs.

Also certain prints and certain materials are a lot harder to get right, you need the correct bed temperature and correct nozzle temp etc, speed of nozzle movement, layer height.
Making sure the print properly sticks to the bed etc etc, there is a lot to get right.
Having said printing in PLA material is fairly easy, ABS slightly harder and other harder still.

Printing objects that need support material is harder to get correct.

Also large prints can take a long time to print, like 1 or 2 days, depending on settings etc.
I have a notion of buying one myself. I keep putting it off because the technology just keeps getting better and better and I keep thinking I'll wait a few months for the next version of whatever model to come out. I suppose if I took that approach to all tooling I would have a very empty workshop!

I'm very clued up with CAD though which certainly helps. I've still got access to the educational version of Autodesk Inventor which suits me very nicely for this sort of thing. I think they actually offer Fusion 360 either for free or for "cheap" which is basically a dumbed down version of Inventor which is good enough for most people's needs.

I'm currently dithering between buying a decent 3D printer or building a CNC mill to cut things from solid pieces of material. Last time I used a 3D printer was around 2015 and I found the filament didn't stick too well and you could almost pull it apart after printing was done. That's why I was leaning towards machining things from solid blanks with a mill although maybe technology has improved.

Is Red tractor detrimental to your mental health?

  • Yes, Red tractor increase my stress and anxiety

    Votes: 282 98.3%
  • No, Red tractor gives me peace of mind that the product I produce is safe to enter the food chain

    Votes: 5 1.7%

HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...