Three dimensional printing of components and functional devices for energy and environmental applications
Three dimensional printing technologies represent a revolution in the manufacturing sector because of their unique capabilities for increasing shape complexity while reducing waste material, capital cost and design for manufacturing. However, the application of 3D printing technologies for the fabrication of functional components or devices is still an almost unexplored field due to their elevated complexity from the materials and functional points of view. This paper focuses on reviewing previous studies devoted to developing 3D printing technologies for the fabrication of functional parts and devices for energy and environmental applications. The use of 3D printing technologies in these sectors is of special interest since the related devices usually involve expensive advanced materials such as ceramics or composites, which present strong limitations in shape and functionality when processed with classical manufacturing methods. Recent advances regarding the implementation of 3D printing for energy and environmental applications will bring competitive advantages in terms of performance, product flexibility and cost, which will drive a revolution in this sector.