General Electric envisions a big future for metal additive manufacturing technology. In fact, at the Paris Air Show last month, GE Additive announced that it is developing the world’s largest laser-powered 3D printer to create large parts from metal powder.
The new machine will be able to make parts that fit inside a cube with 1-meter sides. It will be unveiled in mid-November at the Formnext Show in Frankfurt, Germany.
“The machine will 3D print aviation parts suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft,” claims Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive. “It will also be applicable for manufacturers in the automotive, power, and oil and gas industries.
“The first [prototype] version of the printer, called ATLAS, will 3D print objects up to 1 meter long in at least two directions from titanium, aluminum and other metals,” explains Ehteshami. “The machine’s build geometry will be customizable and scalable for an individual customer’s project.
“Its feature resolution and build-rate speeds will equal or better today’s additive machines,”” adds Ehteshami. “We have customers collaborating with us, and they will receive beta versions of the machine by year’s end. The production version will be available for purchase next year.”