Additive (Industrial 3D printing) is the world’s first manufacturing method that allows engineers to simultaneously design improvements in product performance, reliability, cost and weight, all at faster speeds.
At GE, we’ve experienced first-hand the benefits that additive brings to product designs – opening up the design envelope and enabling the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems. We’ve designed products that improve performance and are more complex in design, yet simpler to build. One example of additive’s revolutionary impact on engineering design is GE Aviation’s Advanced Turboprop (ATP), which will power the new Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft. GE Aviation engineers were able to reduce 855 subtractive manufactured parts to 12 uniquely complex additive manufactured parts -which constitute 35% of the engine’s total architecture – saving weight, cost and improving performance. GE businesses now have over 10,000 additive parts in operation today.
In 2016, GE decided to set up a brand new business dedicated to the additive industry - selling additive machines, additive powders and engineering consultancy services. GE secured a 75% stake in Concept Laser (a German-based company providing laser-based additive machines) and 76% shares in Arcam (a Swedish-based company providing electron beam-based additive machines).
GE Additive is now providing machines, materials and engineering design expertise, partnering with customers to help them introduce additive into their businesses.
- Concept Laser and Arcam machines are already supporting customers in the aerospace, medical, dental and jewellery industries.
- Part of Arcam also includes Advanced Powders and Coatings (AP&C) – one of the largest providers of titanium powder in the additive industry.
- With GE’s extensive design and powder metallurgy experience in the additive manufacturing process, GE’s engineers also provide guidance and advice on how to optimize the customer’s product design using additive technology.
GE Additive is located across several countries in Europe: Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK. The company recently announced it’s establishing a “Customer Experience Center” in Munich, Germany – the first of several GE Additive centers planned worldwide to accelerate the use of additive manufacturing. It selected Germany for its first center to align with the manufacturing, sales, and service centers of both Concept Laser (Lichtenfels, Germany) and Arcam (Molndal, Sweden).