GE has taken orders for over $1 billion in 3D-printed parts at the Paris Air Show. In order to build them, GE’s Additive division is working on the world’s largest laser-powered 3D printer that can work in metal.
“The machine will 3D print aviation parts suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft,” Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive, told GE Reports. “It will also be applicable for manufacturers in the automotive, power, and oil and gas industries.”
It also cuts down on the number of machines needed inside factories, since it can produce almost any kind of part by fusing together fine layers of powdered metal, the company said. The production will be able to print objects up to 1 meter in length in two dimensions. This isn’t the end of the project, though; the final production version will add a third dimension of up to 1 meter as well. Beta versions of the printer are expected to be in customers’ hands by the end of 2017, with the production version following in 2018.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography