There are a lot of categories of people who use 3D printers today. Besides the smaller users of 3D printers, there are also big companies that are increasingly using this type of technology. One of them is General Electric.
GE is expanding its business with the GE Additive. GE Additive is developing the world’s largest laser powered 3D Printer. This 3D Printer is supposed to produce parts up to one cubic meter of space. Recently, GE’s Additive Chief made a statement that says that the machine will 3D print aviation parts. These parts will be suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft. He also said that this is the technology that represents every engineer’s dream.
source: GE report
GE has a prototype large-scale metal printer, called ATLAS, that can print 2D objects up to 1 meter long. This printer uses titanium, aluminum and other metals. But the new one will extend that to a third dimension. This new type of technology will make more complex parts a lot easier and with minimum costs. GE Aviation is already printing fuel nozzles for the Airbus, Boeing and narrow-body jets. Additive printers fuse fine layers of powdered metal with a laser beam to print objects.
source: GE report
Also, an interesting fact is that the German company Concept Laser is producing wing brackets for planes. To be more precise, these are wing brackets for the Airbus A350 XWB. They’re now part of GE Additive, as a result of GE buying the majority stake in Concept Laser. This company now makes the largest metal power printer. CL engineers will work together with GE experts on the new machine. The new machine’s build geometry will be customizable and scalable for an individual customer’s project. Engineer are expecting that this new machine will be at least with the same build-rate speeds and feature resolution.