Last year, GE reinvented itself as the world’s foremost Digital Industrial Company. Its primary mission? To merge the world of open-source, industrial design with proven manufacturing technology.
With the help of lasers and 3D printing, GE is helping define the future of global commerce and product innovation. Here are a few ways they’re putting additive manufacturing imagination to work:
- Center for Additive Technology Advancement: In early 2016, GE opened a 125,000-square foot Center for Additive Technology Advancement near Pittsburgh, PA. Here, GE engineers experiment with new ways to print industrial components through high-powered lasers.
- Stake in Concept Laser GmbH: Concept Laser is a leading global supplier of additive manufacturing equipment. Recently, they reached an agreement to acquire a 75 percent stake in Concept Laser GmbH for $599 million. The agreement allows for GE to take full ownership in the long-term.
- 3D Printing Heats A City: A large power plant in Berlin, Germany, runs through GE Power Services’ gas turbine e-fleet. The Berlin Mitte plant heats the entire metropolitan area using 3D printed first-stage heat shields and first-stage vanes inside a single GE natural gas turbine. These vanes and heat shields help the turbine run more efficiently and burn less gas, and saves Berlin over $3 million each year.
As 3D printing is often envisioned as small, complex, or even invariable components, these technologies prove 3D printing makes a difference on a large scale. With the power of additive manufacturing, engineers can increase the capabilities of modern industrial design through lasers. It can also create much more complex pathways than through traditional metal casting.
GE will continue to invest in 3D printing, pledging to build a $1 billion 3D printing business by 2020. With no end to the momentum in sight, the Lasers Today staff is closely watching GE’s latest trends.
A representative from GE will speak at Laser Institute of America’s 2017 Lasers for Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop, February 21-22, 2017 in Houston, TX. LAM is the perfect way to stay on top of the additive manufacturing action, including when, where, and how to use laser additive manufacturing. To learn more about LAM and to register, click here.