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Additive Machines Technology

Additive Machines Technology

Metal additive manufacturing has emerged as one of the world’s most transformative technologies. While it promises a new era of constraint-free design and product performance, it faces practical limitations in build size, speed, and repeatability, which hinder the realization of its full potential. GE Research offers partnerships in cutting edge technologies to solve these challenges and push the limits of the application space.

In Direct Metal Laser Melting, we have made significant advances in new machine concepts that have enabled 10x gains in build speed, size, and re-configurability. Additionally, we envision a step-change in the process performance by introducing new analytic and control technologies that ensure process stability. GE’s capabilities in this area include Melt-pool monitoring, iterative learning control, continuous auto-calibration, and real-time melt-pool control.

We have also made remarkable strides in Electron Beam Melting, a powerful modality for crack-prone metal alloys, such as Titanium. We are advancing the technology for breakthrough productivity, feature resolution, and part quality, through the development of high-performance electron beam sources and in-situ process monitoring using “self-generated” x-ray imaging and backscatter electron technologies. We are building on GE Research’s decades of expertise in x-ray tubes and imaging technologies developed for Medical Systems to mature and industrialize the EBM additive modality.

We see Binder jet as a promising new modally with game changing impact on cost and speed. We have created novel support structure designs and clean-burning binders to solve two key technology challenges of sintering distortion and material properties.

Project Impact

Our researchers have developed modular Direct Metal Laser Melting machine concepts that enabled 10x gains in build size, speed, and reconfigurability, while maximizing the laser utilization and minimizing powder waste. We have, additionally, implemented monitoring and control methods, such as iterative learning control, continuous autocalibration, and real-time melt-pool monitoring, to introduce a step change in the build process performance and stability.

Drawing on our vast expertise in medical and industrial x-ray imaging, we have developed high-performance electron beam sources and in-situ process monitoring to achieve breakthrough in productivity, feature resolution, and quality for the Electron Beam Melting additive manufacturing modality.

In Binder Jet modality, a collaborative effort between our chemistry and mechanical engineering experts have created clean-burning binders and novel support structure designs to solve two key technology challenges of material properties and sintering distortion. These advances will enable engineers at the GE business and elsewhere to apply the technology to vast new applications in many industry verticals, such as transportation, automotive and powder generation.

Media Highlights
  • Our Expertise

    Capabilities utilized for Additive Machines Technology project

  • Optics & Photonics

    Developing novel technologies for applications in sensing, data communication, imaging, directed energy systems, and energy conversion

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  • Materials & Process Modeling

    Combining the power of physics and data driven models to accelerate the discovery, development and servicing of material solutions and processes

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  • Mechanical Systems

    Developing prediction tools and mature components for rotating and reciprocating machines to enable the safe, smooth and efficient transfer of power

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  • Mechanical Synthesis

    Developing tools and methods to reduce design iterations from concept to product and optimize producibility from design intent to as-manufactured parts

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