Additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies have greatly evolved in recent years and are now readily available. Since 2017, the LNHB has been equipped with two 3D printers (manufactured in France by VOLUMIC 3D) in order to take advantage of this technology for various developments in the laboratory.
The most important improvement has been the production of support rings for X/γ spectrometry sources; in particular for the SG500 geometry whose positioning has now been greatly improved. The relative standard uncertainty on the SG500 efficiency curve has been reduced from 5% to 1.6% in the energy range from 30 to 2000 keV. The 3D printers now in operation at the LNHB mean that simple supports can be manufactured rapidly, adapted to the various measurement requests for calibration services or within the framework of our research. The delay and cost for the provision of these supports have been significantly reduced. Previously one month was required for a machining service (administrative and manufacturing delay), whereas using our own 3D printing laboratory, this has been reduced to only a few hours, for a cost of a few cents.