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Pittsburgh: GE Celebrates Grand Opening of $40 Million Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA)

by • April 6, 2016 • No Comments

General-Electric-jpgWhilst many are aware of the big names in 3D printing, it yet frequently comes as a surprise to a few to find out that General Electric has had their hands in the technology for a long time, and they only store getting extra
and extra
invested. So, if you are wondering of the future of 3D printing or whether or not it’s really catching on, only the fact that GE is opening another multimillion-dollar facility should be a somehow big hint—as well as the fact that they want all of their related businesses getting in on the technology.

It is in addition really amazing for us to see what GE is working on extra
, especially regarding their new Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in Pittsburgh, that celebrated their grand opening on Tuesday. The city of Pittsburgh is many most likely many pumped, yet, looking forward not only to the activity that the facility can bring, but many most likely many most likely really pleased to have GE declare them as the future industry leader for 3D printing in terms of geography; in fact, the reason GE set up their new $39 million General Electric plant off of a highway exit really near the airport was for the reason of the proximity to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University—all of whom are really involved in 3D printing—and whose impressive projects we go on to follow as well.


A piece 3D printed at CATA via four various polymers

We’ve in addition followed activity on the part of GE over the years as they have poured millions into 3D printing expansion, and moved into countries like India with multiple facilities. Now, in the traditional building setting of Pittsburgh, General Electric is employing numbers of laser 3D printing equipment in the building of ereallything of jet engine blades to oil valves.

“We’ve tapped into America’s best-kept secret,” says Jennifer Cipolla, who runs CATA, in regards to Pittsburgh, where Tesla and Google have in addition opened offices.

“We ponder Pittsburgh has the accident to be one of the four or five destinations for high end building,” adds GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt.

CATA is funded by every of the GE businesses, with the goal of integrating 3D printing for all. GE has historically been really involved with 3D printing to turn it into fuel nozzles for jet engines.

“Our undertaking is to ensure additive technology becomes a standard part of the tool kit for every business,” Cipolla says. “By having a shared facility, they can share the cost burden and we can advance the technology across the entire company much extra
quickly than if they were to invest individually.”

3D Printed fuel nozzle. (Photo: GE Reports)

3D printed fuel nozzle.

All eight of the company’s building divisions can use the 125,000-square-foot facility to test new creations and ideas, with 50 high-tech engineers employed there. Whilst already the CATA facility has only several 3D metal printing machines, they are in addition, according to GE Reports, going to add an extra
$10 million in machines this year, with a $2 million DMLM printing device that has four lasers and can print four various components simultaneously.

The CATA facility in addition holds a sand binder jetting machine, great for rapid prototyping. Rather than employing a laser, it uses a chemical binder to use sand as the material for casting molds.

“We are building the Jell-O mold for the jelly,” says Dave Miller, the engineer working with the machine. “The sand mold gets stronger as it ages. It is like concrete.”

“This is a massive breakthrough for rapid prototyping,” Miller says. “You’d normally spend many thousands of dollars and many weeks to complete the same results. With this 3D printing device you are cutting down costs and in addition your lead time.”

“We are building the Jell-O mold for the jelly,” says Dave Miller, the engineer working with the sand binder jetting machine (Photo: GE Reports)

“We are building the Jell-O mold for the jelly,” says Dave Miller, the engineer working with the sand binder jetting machine

With their Polyjet printing equipment, GE engineers are able-bodied to combine polymers and manufacture parts with various qualities and colors.

“There’s a cookbook that allows for us to juggle the ingredients,” says Ed Rowley, the engineer presiding over the machines. “It allows for us to turn it into ereallything of elastomers to rigid plastic.”

The goal is to hustle the limits of additive building and remain at the forefront of technology inside the industry. The CATA industrialization lab is intended to promote this undertaking, enabling GE businesses to bring in their 3D printing concepts and optimize them, as well as working to bring them to fruition. It sounds like they can only be having a little bit of fun in the system too. What do you ponder of the scope of this new facility? Discuss in the GE CATA 3D Pittsburgh 3D Printing Facility forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: GE Reports; WTAE Pittsburgh; Images: GE Reports/Chris New]

printing device

One of CATA’s DMLM 3D printing equipment