Tag Archives: 3D printing

Updates from GE

Love At First Touch: Brazilian Doctor Uses 3D Printing To Help Blind Parents Feel Baby’s Ultrasound
By Erica Firmo – When Ana Paula Silveira got pregnant, she and her husband, Alvaro Zermiani, dreamed about seeing the face of their child during her first ultrasound exam. But weeks later, they got to feel it instead.

Both Ana Paula and Alvaro, who live in São Paulo, Brazil, are legally blind. Their son, Davi Lucas, was strong and healthy, but there was no way their eyes could see the first grainy glimpses of their baby on the ultrasound monitor.

They decided to take a different path. The couple made a trip to the office of Dr. Heron Werner, a gynecologist and obstetrician working at the DASA clinic in Rio de Janeiro. He agreed to follow Ana Paula through her pregnancy.

Dr. Werner uses a 3D printer to make lifelike models from images obtained by a GE ultrasound machine. “From the moment we got to the high-quality ultrasound exam, through the possibility of 3D printing it, I realized that it could also serve to enhance the prenatal experience of visually impaired pregnant women,” Dr. Werner says. more>

Updates from GE

By Yari M. Bovalino – A few years ago, scientists working in GE labs in upstate New York came up with a cool idea for fixing broken parts. Literally. Calling the approach “cold spray,” they shot tiny metal grains from a supersonic nozzle at aircraft engine blades to add new material to them without changing their properties.

Anteneh Kebbede, manager of the Coatings and Surface Lab at the GE Global Research Center, who helped developed cold spray, said the technology can build whole new parts with walls as thick as 1 inch or more. “For manufacturers, the potential benefits are enormous,” Kebbede says. “Imagine being able to restore an aging part to its original condition with a tool that looks like a spray gun.” It is “like a fountain of youth for machine parts.”

GE engineers have already taken a dip. Earlier this year, engineers at the GE Aviation subsidiary Avio Aero started testing the technology in Bari, Italy. Last month they used it to repair the first part: a gearbox from the world’s most powerful jet engine, the GE90. more>

Updates from GE

The Aviator: How A Young Pilot Became A Top-Flight 3D-Printing Engineer

By Maggie Sieger – At 15, Josh Mook got a job refueling planes and handling bags at a small airport near his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. He’d work eight hours a day after school, then blow his earnings every Saturday taking flying lessons. “I couldn’t even drive myself there,” Mook recalls. “But I was flying solo.”

Mook has been jetting into the unknown ever since. Originally considering a career in industrial design, Mook moved to aerospace engineering because it combined his love of flying with his love of math and science.

After graduating from Purdue University in 2005, he joined GE Aviation as an engineer at the GE unit’s headquarters in Cincinnati. His first big success came when he found a clever way to fix a blade durability problem in a jet engine high-pressure compressor.

Additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing build parts from the ground up, layer by layer, by fusing together metal powder or plastics. The technology is suitable for prototyping and custom production, but GE is also using it to make production parts that would be difficult to manufacture using traditional methods. more> https://goo.gl/psf2a9

Updates from GE

Laser Focus: See How One 3D-Printing Pioneer Is Heating Up Industry

By Tomas Kellner – Frank Herzog is the founder and CEO of Concept Laser, a pioneering maker of 3D printing machines. Concept Laser’s printers can produce precise hip joint replacements and surgical tools as well entire engine blocks. Last fall, GE acquired a majority stake in Herzog’s company, and Concept Laser is now part of GE Additive, a new GE business dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services.

In 2016, Concept Laser sold more than 150 , and Hund says 750 Concept Laser machines are in service worldwide. With GE Additive, these numbers will grow even faster. In fact, Herzog and his colleagues are now helping GE design the world’s largest 3D printer for metals.

Updates from GE

School’s In: GE’s New “Brilliant Learning” Program Will Train Workers For Jobs Of The Future
By Tomas Kellner – Jesse Schrimpf didn’t study additive manufacturing in school. But when a 3D printer showed up at his plant in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the GE Healthcare engineer decided to give the machine a whirl.

Normally, Schrimpf would design a new master mold, order a wooden mold prototype costing as much as $20,000 from a supplier and wait as long as four weeks for the delivery. He would test it, make tweaks and repeat the process. The costs quickly added up.

But with the 3D printer at his disposal, he could print a mold that performed better than the wooden kind in just two days on-site and for $1,000. The printer, which creates 3D objects directly from a computer file, enabled him to incorporate changes into the next design version with his keyboard and a mouse.

Schrimpf is in many ways the poster child for GE’s new “brilliant learning” program the company is launching for employees around the world this week. It includes “massive open online courses” in several languages, workshops, “immersion boot camps on lean manufacturing” and other training designed to help employees get ready for the arrival in the factory of 3D printing, big data, robotics, digital and lean manufacturing and other advanced technologies.

GE is launching “brilliant learning” to change things. The model feeds into the company’s idea of the Brilliant Factory, a plant that uses big data, software sensors, new manufacturing methods and robotics to increase productivity. GE businesses are busy rolling out the concept at 17 sites in Japan, India, Italy, Mexico and also the U.S, and more are in the pipeline. more> https://goo.gl/1jmbjf

Updates from GE

GE’s New Aviation Plant In The Heart Of Europe Will Build Engines With 3D Printed Parts For Next-Gen Cessna Denali

By Tomas Kellner – GE and the Czech government announced today (Oct 20) plans to build a new factory outside of the city focused on the development and production of the world’s first turboprop engine with 3D printed components.

The plant, which will double as GE Aviation’s first aircraft engine headquarters outside the United States, will employ 500 people. It is scheduled to open in 2022.

GE is spending $400 million to develop the engine, which the company calls Advanced Turboprop — or ATP. It will first power the Cessna Denali, Textron Aviation’s next-generation business aircraft.

3D printing allowed designers to consolidate 845 parts into just 11 components. Although the engine still has hundreds of parts in it, the reduction in complexity will help speed up production, reduce fuel burn by up to 20 percent, achieve 10 percent more power and lower the engine’s weight.

The engine will be powerful and efficient enough to reach Chicago from Los Angeles or Miami from New York.

“The physics is simple,” says Milan Slapak, a turboprop program manager at GE Aviation in Prague. “The more metal you have in the air, the more money you need to spend on the material itself and on the fuel to keep it flying. Also, an engine with fewer components reduces the number of parts you need to design, certify, inspect and make or order. 3D-printing really is the game changer and it will totally change the way traditional supply chains operate and simplify them massively.” more> https://goo.gl/BdLU3w

Updates from GE

Major Laser: These Scientists Are Writing The 3D-Printing Cookbook For GE
By Todd Alhart – Vinciquerra, the manager of the newly formed Additive Materials Lab at GE Global Research, is creating a cookbook that will likely impact manufacturing across GE the same way “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” [2] shook up American kitchens.

Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is exploding right now. GE estimates that by 2025, more than 20 percent of new products will involve additive processes of some kind. But there’s no cookbook that standardizes the recipes, which have oodles of parameters that determine the properties of the final part.

“It’s like baking a cake. You need to start with the right recipe, then you need to have the right ingredients and the right oven,” Vinciquerra says. “A cup of materials science, a tablespoon of design and a whole lot of machine-control strategies must come together and yield perfection.”

Technologies like direct metal laser melting (DMLM), for example, can involve several lasers as powerful as 1 kilowatt — enough to burn a hole in a wall — fusing as many as 1,250 layers of fine superalloy powder into the desired shape. Some large builds can take days to finish. more> http://goo.gl/yYS7K3

3D Printing Is Introducing a New World of Copyright Infringement

By RP Siegel – 3D printing has been and continues to be a disruptive technology on the design and manufacturing supply chain.

“Anyone with a smartphone can scan an object and create a CAD file out of it complete with trademark logo,” Lindsay Rothrock, a trademark attorney with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP in Indianapolis, said.

Maker sites like Shapeways and Thingiverse share instructions for a wide variety of objects from gadgets, to jewelry, to phone accessories, to art. While some might think that this is Napster 2.0, the design files to these objects are all presumed to be original creations of the submitters and are thus offered with permission. Legal offerings include original work, public domain material, or material used with permission.

Shapeways notes on its site, “You design amazing products, we’ll help you reach a global market.” It does the 3D printing for you, whereas with Thingiverse, you use your own 3D printer. more> http://tinyurl.com/p383luf

Updates from GE

These Engineers 3D Printed a Mini Jet Engine, Then Took it to 33,000 RPM
By Michael Keller – The backpack-sized jet engine was built by a team of technicians, machinists and engineers who work at a GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati, a lab focused on developing additive manufacturing, a next-generation technique that can make complex 3D structures by melting metal powder layer upon layer.

They built the engine over the course of several years to test the technology’s abilities and to work on a side project together.

“We wanted to see if we could build a little engine that runs almost entirely out of additive manufacturing parts,” says one of the engineers. “This was a fun side project.”

The GE team couldn’t build the complexity of a whole commercial aircraft engine into their working model. Instead, they got plans for a simpler engine developed for remote control model planes and customized them for their 3D printing machines. Their final product measures around a foot long by about eight inches tall.

When they were finished, they mounted it inside a test cell typically used to try out full-scale engines and fired it up. The model engine is now on display at the Additive Development Center with other display pieces. more> http://tinyurl.com/nzy48ss

Updates from GE

These Japanese Metalworkers Use Their Hands to Take 3D Printing to the Next Level
GE – For the last 45 years, Kariwa has been making a huge variety of valves for transporting natural gas, oil and other fluids, mostly for export. GE acquired the plant in 2011, and two years later it started testing 3D printers to manufacture special control valves, whose walls are peppered with hundreds of narrow holes.

The project is unusual since it combines human craftsmanship with 3D printing. The valves include arrays of tiny holes and flow channels, which had been difficult to make and had to be assembled from many parts. The plant is relying on seasoned metal craftsmen to come up with designs for 3D printing that eliminate not only the assembly, but also the need for burdensome and time consuming post-processing, like removing burrs from the holes.

“3D printing does not make everything possible,” Eiji Mitsuhashi says. “There are things that can only be done by the human hand.”

For example, existing 3D printers can only produce objects at accuracies of up to about 0.1 millimeters. But Kariwa’s seasoned machinists can work with a precision up to 100 times greater. Mitsuhashi is using them to develop optimal designs that minimize the need for finishing after printing and speed up production. more> http://tinyurl.com/nmzlcca