3D Printing Custom Pipe Support Prototypes

When a longtime customer from a global engineering firm approached APP with a technical problem, we jumped at the chance to help. Read more about how we worked together to design and 3D-printed a prototype of what will become a new product in the near future.

3D-printed custom pipe support prototype developed for a longtime customer

Based on the needs of a longtime customer, APP designed and 3D-printed the prototype of a custom-engineered FRP cradle.

A longtime customer from a global engineering firm approached APP looking for product development guidance. He came to us with a technical problem in need of a solution.

He was looking to develop an alternative to u-bolts to use as a pipe guide in offshore applications. The harsh marine atmosphere experienced by FPSO’s and production platforms is a fertile environment for corrosion because of the high humidity and salt levels. For these reasons, FRP thrives in offshore environments due to its non-corrosive nature.

Our customer presented the concept of a custom-engineered FRP cradle and we ran with this idea. We are in the process of developing a composite support that allows you to guide pipe without having to weld or drill into an I-beam. By using epoxy and composite materials, labor costs are reduced and metal-to-metal contact is avoided.


APP designed the custom pipe support using Autodesk Fusion 360™ 3D CAD software.

New product development is an iterative process with the goal of maximizing product quality and minimizing product cost and development time. To get started, we consulted with the customer to discuss his concept idea and the requirements of the end-product. From there, we created 3D drawings, performed FEA on the design, and 3D printed a prototype for the customer (see image at the top of this post). We are now working with the customer on the next steps to bring this product to fruition.

Not all problems can be solved with off-the-shelf parts and that’s why we’re here. APP will innovate a solution specifically for your issue!

Learn more about our Innovative Engineering Design Services



Updated on January 1, 2018

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