Carlos Haertel, who runs the GE Global Research center in Munich, says additive manufacturing technologies like 3D printing are opening a “new, unlimited dimension” to how we make products as varied as jewelry, dental implants, planes and jet engines.
He is not alone. Mohammad Ehteshami, head of GE Additive, calls additive technologies “an engineer’s dream.” The former jet engine designer, who now leads an entire GE business dedicated to developing 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services, says this technology is something he “never imagined” possible.
In May, Ehteshami’s business opened a new Customer Experience Center right next to Haertel’s lab complex where designers and engineers can take additive manufacturing for a spin. “We need to get the word out and make people familiar with this technology and its potential,” Haertel says. “Then you will see a multiplication effect, and it can truly go exponential.”
GE Reports recently traveled to Munich. Watch our interview with Haertel as well as Ehteshami and his colleagues.
Top image: This steel mesh, made on an Arcam 3D printer, would be difficult to manufacture economically in any other way. GE acquired a majority stake in Arcam, as well as the industrial 3D printer maker Concept Laser, last fall. Image credit: Arcam AB.