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GE Opens $39M 3D Printing Facility Near Pittsburgh – ENGINEERING.com

by • April 20, 2016 • No Comments

After launching in 2015 an additive making facility in Auburn, Ala., dedicated to the 3D printing of its LEAP fuel nozzle, GE has opened another center for 3D printing. The multinational conglomerate’s new site is in Findlay Township, Pa., just outside Pittsburgh. The Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) can not be focutilized on just one component, but can leverage all of GE’s 3D printing activities of the world.

GE’s CATA can house multiple direct metal laser melting (DMLM) machines capable of 3D printing exact parts of metal alloys. (Image courtesy of GE Reports.)

GE can invest $39 million in CATA over the course of three years, fueling what can be a multifaceted site dedicated not just to research and development around 3D printing, but in addition to training and create. Using GE’s “Brilliant Factory” concept, CATA can incorporate software and analytics to improve productivity, while in addition enhancing the use of 3D printing for production. The products and knowledge that come out of CATA can aid GE operations of the world, that include its aviation, transportation, power and oil and gas divisions.
In a new GE report on the facility, CATA Leader Jennifer Cipolla elaborates on the principle behind the work: “Our undertaking is to ensure additive innovation becomes a standard part of the tool kit for every business. By having a shared facility, they can share the cost burden and we can advance the innovation across the entire company much additional quickly than if they were to invest individually.”

CATA can showcase an ExOne S-Max machine utilized for 3D printing sand cores for metal casting. (Image courtesy of GE Reports.)

Among the equipment that can be houtilized at the facility are direct metal laser melting (DMLM) machines. The company does not name that brand of metal 3D printing device it uses, although images of the site showcase a few variety of an EOS direct metal laser sintering process, a talked about platform for metal 3D printing. GE in addition plans to add $10 million additional in equipment this year, that include an unnamed $2 million process capable of via four lasers to 3D print in four areas simultaneously. Other machines houtilized at the facility include an ExOne S-Max, that creates sizeable sand cores for casting in metal; a Stratasys Fortus process for plastic extrusion (FDM), and a Stratasys Connex machine for 3D printing multiple materials in a single create.

This corporate gift was 3D printed on a Stratasys Connex machine, that can jet four various UV-curable resins in a single create. (Image courtesy of GE Reports.)

In the 3D printing industry, GE has become approximately associated with delivering 3D printing to the forefront of industrial making with its LEAP jet engine fuel nozzles. These nozzles simultaneously represent the efficiency that 3D printing can bring to create, reducing the necessary parts of the component of 18 to 1, and the possibilities for the innovation to create end-use parts. These nozzles can be incorporated into 1,700 jet engines by 2018. If this is what GE may manage with a single fuel nozzle, imagine what the multinational company can attain with this brand-new facility.
About the Author

Michael Molitch-Hou is a 3D printing specialist and the founder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA significant studies and writing program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace.


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