Posts Tagged ‘GE’

GE’s large scale 3D cookbook

Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP



Major Laser: These Scientists Are Writing the 3D-Printing Cookbook for GE

Additive manufacturing engineer Brian Adkins in full gear is preparing a DMLM machine for printing. (Photo credit: GE Reports/Chris New)

It would be a stretch to say that Joe Vinciquerra is the Julia Child of GE. But Vinciquerra, the manager of the newly formed Additive Materials Lab at GE Global Research, is creating a cookbook that will likely impact manufacturing across GE the same way “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” shook up American kitchens.

Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is exploding right now. GE estimates that by 2025, more than 20 percent of new products will involve additive processes of some kind. But there’s no cookbook that standardizes the recipes, which have oodles of parameters that determine the properties of the final part.

“It’s like baking a cake. You need to start with the right recipe, then you need to have the right ingredients and the right oven,” Vinciquerra says. “A cup of materials science, a tablespoon of design and a whole lot of machine-control strategies must come together and yield perfection.”

Technologies like direct metal laser melting (DMLM), for example, can involve several lasers as powerful as 1 kilowatt—enough to burn a hole in a wall—fusing as many as 1,250 layers of fine superalloy powder into the desired shape. Some large builds can take days to finish.

support block with 3D printed parts inside a DMLM printed in Pittsburgh. (Photo credit: GE Reports/Chris New)

Last week, GE opened a new industrial-scale 3D-printing center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It will work closely with Vinciquerra’s team, test their findings and get GE factories quickly cooking with additive.

His team has already started testing and tabling the powdered materials used in additive manufacturing and their properties. “We want to know how they come together, how they affect each other and what machines and processes are best suited for them,” Vinciquerra says. “It’s just like a gourmet recipe. We need to know how our ingredients are going to react in a mixer or an oven. And what changes can we make to those ingredients, the mixer or the oven to produce a more palatable dish?”

The team is pulling in expertise from other labs on the GE Global Research campus in Niskayuna, New York, including scientists focusing on nanomaterials, microstructures and machine design. The company calls the cross-pollination of know-how the GE Store.

inciquerra (right) and Andy Deal, a metallurgist in the Additive Materials Lab are loading sets of sample 3D printed metal parts in a vacuum oven for post-processing at GE Global Research. (Photo credit: GE Global Research.)      http://www.pharmpro.com/sites/pharmpro.com/files/styles/content_body_image/public/embedded_image/2016/04/Major%20Laser_GE%20Reports_3.jpg?itok=GSQMNM4L


GE materials scientists are no strangers to new materials. They spent two decades developing light- and heat-resistant materials called ceramic matrix composites that outperform even the most advanced superalloys and make jet engines and gas turbines lighter and more efficient. But additive materials live in a different universe. “With additive, you can design as you go and create architectures that cannot be manufactured by any other means,” Vinciquerra says.

He says that GE engineers can already design components with sophisticated, performance-enhancing features previously unattainable by any other means of manufacturing. The next-generation LEAP jet engine—developed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and France’s Snecma (Safran)—uses 3D-printed fuel nozzles, which are 25 percent lighter and five times more durable. They used to be made from 18 separate parts and now they come in one piece. A year ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a fist-sized housing for a sensor as the first 3D-printed part to fly inside GE commercial jet engines.

“This is just the beginning,” Vinciquerra says. “Someday, we may even be able to combine materials together in ways previously not possible to unlock new capabilities that never existed. Can I create a new class of materials that open the design envelope and push the limits of durability and heat resistance beyond what we thought was even possible? We’re going to find out.”

To read the original story, published on GE Reports, click here



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GE’s $40 Million Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA)

UPDATED on 9/6/2016

G.E. Offers $1.4 Billion for 3-D Printing Technology Companies

By CHAD BRAY SEPT. 6, 2016

In GE 3-D printing technology is used to create gas turbine parts and other applications in HealthCare and in Aerospace.

G.E. said it had invested about $1.5 billion in manufacturing and 3-D printing technology since 2010, and added that it expected its new additive manufacturing business to achieve $1 billion in revenue by 2020.

“Additive manufacturing is a key part of G.E.’s evolution into a digital industrial company,” Jeffrey R. Immelt, the G.E. chairman and chief executive, said in a news release.

Arcam, based in Molndal, Sweden, is a provider of metal-based 3-D printing technology, primarily for the aerospace and health care industries. It had $68 million in revenue in 2015 and about 285 employees.

SLM Solutions, based in Lübeck, Germany, which went public two years ago, said in a news release that G.E. had offered to pay 38 euros, about $42.40, a share for the company, a 36.7 percent premium to its closing price on Monday.

If the acquisitions are completed, the companies would report to David L. Joyce, president and chief executive of GE Aviation


GE’s $40 Million Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA)

Reporter: Danut Dragoi, PhD

While many are aware of the big names in 3D printing, it still often comes as a surprise to some to find out that General Electric has had their hands in the technology for a long time, and they just keep getting more and more invested. So, if you are wondering about the future of 3D printing or whether or not it’s really catching on, just the fact that GE is opening another multi-million-dollar facility should be a pretty big hint—as well as the fact that they want all of their related businesses getting in on the technology.

It’s also very exciting for us to see what GE is working on further, especially regarding their new Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in Pittsburgh, which celebrated their grand opening on Tuesday. The city of Pittsburgh is probably most pumped, however, looking forward not just to the activity that the facility will bring, but probably most likely quite happy to have GE declare them as the next industry leader for 3D printing in terms of geography; in fact, the reason GE set up their new $39 million General Electric plant off of a highway exit very near the airport was because of the proximity to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University—all of whom are very involved in 3D printing—and whose outstanding projects we continue to follow as well. We’ve also followed activity on the part of GE over the years as they have poured millions into 3D printing expansion, and moved into countries like India with multiple facilities.

Now, in the traditional manufacturing setting of Pittsburgh, General Electric is employing numbers of laser 3D printers in the manufacturing of everything from jet engine blades to oil valves. Picture below shows a jet engine blades model that GE engineers produced using an advanced 3-D printing technique called direct metal laser melting. This additive manufacturing method is producing a growing list of parts for numerous industries, making stronger components with less material waste that are impossible to create using traditional techniques.

GE Turbo engine 3DP

Image SOURCE: http://www.ge.com/stories/advanced-manufacturing

CATA is funded by each of the GE businesses, with the goal of integrating 3D printing for all. GE has historically been very involved with 3D printing to create fuel nozzles for jet engines, see picture below.

GE fuel nozle 3DP

Image SOURCE: https://3dprint.com/128490/pittsburgh-ge-cata/

All eight of the company’s manufacturing divisions will use the 125,000-square-foot facility to test new designs and ideas, with 50 high-tech engineers employed there. While currently the CATA facility has just several 3D metal printing machines, they are also, according to GE Reports, going to add an additional $10 million in machines this year, with a $2 million DMLM printer that has four lasers and can print four different components simultaneously.

The CATA facility also holds a sand binder jetting machine, excellent for rapid prototyping. Rather than employing a laser, it uses a chemical binder to use sand as the material for casting molds. Picture below shows a Jell-O mold for the jelly which is a work in progress prototyping for sand binder jetting machine.

Sand binding for molding GE for 3DP

Image SOURCE: https://3dprint.com/128490/pittsburgh-ge-cata/

With their Poly-jet printers, GE engineers are able to combine polymers and make parts with different qualities and colors. The goal is to push the limits of additive manufacturing and stay at the forefront of innovation within the industry. The CATA industrialization lab is meant to promote this mission, allowing GE businesses to bring in their 3D printing concepts and optimize them, as well as working to bring them to fruition. It sounds like they might just be having a little bit of fun in the process too.




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