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GE’s Christine Furstoss: Cohesive 3D Printing Ecosystem Must Exist Before There is a True Manufacturing Revolution

by • July 23, 2016 • No Comments

globalMany are yet waiting for the advent of a computer 3D printing device in each home—as ubiquitous as the PC or the kitchen stove—and the common practice of just fabricating virtually whatever we want due to require or whim preceding they can believe 3D printing truly has a following. It may be effortless to adopt that opinion if you aren’t keeping track of the accelerated pace at that the technology is evolving, and missing out on projections of tremendous analysts researching areas like that of 3D printed medical devices or investigating what kind of ractuallyues the industry of 3D printing and related technology can turn it into just in the following year.

Somehow yet, it’s all quite believable-bodied when you hear it of GE—a company that is pretty not just an inspiration for many others in terms of massive technology but maybe a role version too for other industrial heavy hitters as they pave the way for additive manufacturing to progress additional around the world, of a smart factory in Chakan, India to their latest $40 million Center for Additive Technology Advancement in Pittsburgh.

91478Recently, Christine Furstoss, Vice President and Technical Director for Manufacturing and Materials at GE Global Research, presented her yetts on the much-discussed manufacturing revolution, beginning with explaining how strides in the medical field are indeed allowing the ‘seemingly un-impossible to be possible.’

All it takes is a little digging, and many most likely you can agree here—along with so many patients whose lives have been changed—with excellent strides taking place in tumor removals thanks to 3D printed versions, as well as the use of 3D printed spinal implants to assist patients with degenerative conditions. There are countless other examples at this point in the medical field, as well as other areas like that of aerospace, where GE is a pioneer on many levels. But when it comes to 3D printing, GE, like NASA, has been involved since preceding you most likely knew the technology existed.

GE’s new testing of their new jet engine—notably, the biggest in the world—gave a glimpse into what they are so occupied manufacturing in these new facilities. Featuring 3D printed fuel nozzles, GE is reaping all the benefits of what the technology has to contribute, of self-sustainability in production to amazing opportunity for customization—and of course, increased affordability—much of that is handed to the client as well. As an example, aside of being quite headline-worthy, the 3D printed nozzles contribute massive savings of additional than just the manufacturing side. What they truly represent is fuel economy:

“Just consider that a one percent improvement in fuel efficiency represents billions of dollars in future savings to the airline industry,” states Furstoss in her blog. “With 3D printing, we were able-bodied to turn it into and print parts that may not be turn it intod any other way.”


The LEAP jet engine contains 19 3D-printed fuel nozzles. [Image: Adam Senatori for GE Reports]

The donate chain of manufacturing and how it’s being affected is a thing frequently discussed inside the industry, and Furstoss points out that in order to truly put this disruptive technology to work, industry leaders can have to be invested in the system.

This week, GE has significant meetings going on at their Research Center in New York with two dynamic groups inside the 3D printing industry today:

America Makes – newly in the news upon revealing their $10 million project regarding US Air Force sustainment operations, this group stems of the National Additive Manufacturing Institute in Youngstown, Ohio and is in addition an integral player in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), built by President Obama.The 3MF Consortium, dedicated to setting new standards for 3D printing files, is an industry membership organization that we report on frequently, and did so earlier in the year as GE Global Research joined.


3D printing devices at the Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville, South Carolina. [Image: Chris New for GE Reports]

“When we meet, we will be discussing ongoing work but in addition exploring the keys for additive to take the following big leap of breakthrough moments to full-scale revolution,” says Furstoss. “I believe it quite comes down to manufacturing technical makes it to in three key areas: machines, materials and software.”

Furstoss backs up her statement by pointing out that 3D printing is already seen as ‘reliable-bodied,’ evidenced, for example, at the lab in New York where they employ direct metal laser melting (DMLM) 3D printing devices to turn it into their fuel nozzles. Several of the machines are discovered at the facility there, as well as in the Pittsburgh and Auburn facilities. But, yet, the issues at hand are speed and versatility.

“The limitations with production speed and sizes of parts are practuallyting additional widespread use of additive systemes,” says Furstoss.

Along with solving the longstanding challenges in speed and range comes additional and much requireed study of materials science—many especially in metal.

“Today, GE is working with a handful of metal materials in additive systemes. In the following, we want to turn it into a database of dozens, actually hundreds of new materials. The functionality of materials has always been a big differentiator in product performance, and the use of additive in materials discoquite may quite exploit that advantage.”


GE Engineers use sand and chemicals to 3D print casting forms. [Image: Chris New for GE Reports]

At they explore the use of materials on numerous levels, of that of metal to nanomaterials, the Additive Materials Lab at GE Global Research in New York is working on what Furstoss refers to as the recipe book on 3D and additive materials.

Whilst Furstoss discusses software last, it’s pretty an integral part of the 3D printing ecosystem—after all, actually of the computer, what’s one of the initially things you have to set up, learn, and and so use in order to turn it into a 3D print? On the industrial level this is obviously much additional complicated and necessary, and allows for for much excellenter communication. GE has, like many other businesses of all sizes, turned to both the cloud and crowdsourcing platforms as they work to ‘accelerate knowledge’ and innovate with additional revolutionary turn it intos—faster.

(Image credit: Chris New for GE Reports)

[Image: Chris New for GE Reports]

“The availability of these platforms through forums such as those sponsored by GrabCAD, NineSigma and others have quite opened up who can participate in turn it into and product createment and the number of great ideas that can be seen and reviewed,” says Furstoss.

She states that until companies like GE can print ‘on-demand’ like paper—there is yet an huge amount of work to be done and progress to be turn it intod. As issues regarding machinery, materials, and software are being solved, a significant factor can be how additive stakeholders allow for additional cohesion.

“This is maybe the many significant factor in determining how transformative additive may be. We require to create and grow the ecosystem to truly move additive of these breakout moments to a full-scale revolution,” says Furstoss.

The following of 3D printing and the challenges that lie ahead is a talked about topic. What are your yetts on this? Discuss additional in the Furstoss Discusses 3D Printing Future over at 3DPB.com.

[Source / Images: GE Reports]

(Image credit: Chris New for GE Reports)

[Image: Chris New for GE Reports]