GE Additive Switches Castings to Cost-Effective 3D-Printed Parts

May 19, 2021

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GE Additive
GE Additive Switches Castings to Cost-Effective 3D-Printed Parts
A collaboration between GE Aviation and GE Additive has resulted in a switch from investment-cast turbine bleed-air parts to parts made via additive manufacturing (AM), with cost savings expected to reach 35 percent. The path to choosing AM parts began early in 2020 with GE Aviation’s annual audit of castings.

“We always look to pull costs out of existing products,” says Eric Gatlin, AM leader at GE Aviation, “so we cast a wide net that includes hundreds of castings that we buy. Then we ask, ‘Are we getting more competitive?’ ‘Are there things we couldn’t do a year ago that now are technically feasible?’”

Project results: Turbine air-bleed caps, formerly produced via investment casting, now are produced four at a time in a Concept Laser M2 Series 5 AM machine.

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Strong and Ductile 3D Metal Printed Components
Since 3D printing builds to near net or finished dimensions, vacuum heat treating is an absolute necessity. Vacuum levels that approach 1 X 10-6 Torr produce clean and oxide free surface conditions that are metallurgically stable. Critical temperature control is also a must to avoid cracking and producing a strong and ductile part.

MES, ERP Software to Help Power 300-Printer Manufacturing Network
3YourMind has joined Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD (Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing On-Demand), a distributed manufacturing network of hundreds of printers across Michigan manufacturers designed to accelerate the digital transformation and ensure supply-chain resiliency. Funded by Michigan’s Oakland and Macomb counties, the program, developed in 2020, reportedly has created the nation’s largest network of blockchain-enabled 3D printers. It currently features 300 networked Markforged 3D printing machines located throughout Michigan.

3YourMind is providing the capabilities of its Agile ERP and Agile MES custom-built software tools that aggregate CAD data and identify AM-ready parts for production. These tools seamlessly integrate with a variety of 3D printing technologies and materials, enabling end-users to coordinate production across multiple facilities, according to 3YourMind officials.

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3D Metal Printing Experience
Join 3D Metal Printing Magazine for an Educational Webinar Series
Now in its sixth year, the 2021 3D Metal Printing Experience and Tech Tour returns as an online virtual webinar series, scheduled for June 22 and 24. This premier metal-AM event brings together industry experts, AM users and suppliers to learn about the latest developments in 3D metal printing.
Conference highlights include:  
  • Keynote: Process Standardization, Data Collection and Transference—Joe Veranese, vice president and CIO, National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM)
  • Keynote: Making the Business Case for Metal AM—Michael Rosplock, Enerpac
  • Design for AM—Dr. Tim Simpson, Penn State University
  • Panel Discussion—Working with Service Bureaus, moderated by Cullen Hilkene, CEO, 3Diligent Corp.
  • 3D Printed Parts in the Rail Industry, Brett Heher, lead mechanical engineer, Wabtec Corp.
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Industry News
MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions Buys Formetrix Assets, Including Metal-Powder IP
PyroGenesis Canada Begins Ti AM-Powder Production
Can You Break 3DEO’s Metal-AM Parts?
3D Systems Plans Denver Expansion to Meet Demand for Healthcare and Industrial Applications
Complete Metal-Filament 3D Printing Lab

Spring 2021
In This Issue
Identifying the Source of Pore Formation During Additive Manufacturing
Reduction of a power-velocity map proves important in identifying a boundary between an area of stable melting and a region where pores are formed.

What's in Store for Additive Manufacturing as We Recover from COVID-19?
As manufacturers continue to navigate a new inflection point, we can expect AM to continue making an impact in three key ways: the rise of on-demand manufacturing networks; marrying software to hardware into true platforms, to seamlessly bring parts from design to production; and simplifying supply chains.

Coming in 3DMP's Spring 2021 Issue
  • AMUG Wrapup
  • 3D Printing of Superalloys
  • Metal-AM Semiconductor Applications
  • Case Studies: Metal 3D Printers in Action

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Industry-Related Terms: CAD, Case, Center, Hardware, LASER, Point, Surface
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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