Sep.17, 2013

GE's aviation division, the world's largest supplier of jet engines, is using laser printers to print fuel nozzles for next-generation jet engines. In June GE launched two global additive manufacturing quests that invite entrepreneurs, companies and institutions to offer their solutions: a 3D Printing Design Quest for technologies used in healthcare and a 3D Printing Production Quest for an aircraft engine bracket.

GE today unveiled ten Phase I finalists from its Jet Engine Bracket Design Quest challenge to redesign a jet engine bracket, make it lighter, and print it on a 3D printer. As a critical component of a jet engine, brackets support the weight of the engine during handling and must withstand significant vibrations during flight.

There were more than 700 entries and the finalists come from nine countries as different and far apart as Hungary, which has two, and Indonesia. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and move on to the second phase, in which the jet engine bracket designs will be additively manufactured and subjected to load testing by GE engineers at GE Global Research in upstate New York.

The second phase of the Quest will run from September 17 to November 15 and the top eight designs will receive awards from a total prize pool of $20,000.

"We have entered into a new era of manufacturing that is leveraging the proven power of open innovation," said Mark Little, chief technology officer at GE Global Research. "Additive manufacturing is allowing GE, together with the maker community, to push the boundaries of traditional engineering. These finalists have demonstrated what can be achieved by embracing this more open, collaborative model."

Below are designs from the 10 finalists.

M Arie Kurniawan, based in Indonesia, is co-founder of an engineering firm that provides high quality mechanical engineering, design optimization and product design services.

Alexis Costa is based in France.

Thomas Johansson, Ph.D, based in Sweden, is a consultant for a Swedish hyper-car manufacturer and is a champion snowmobile drag racer.

Sebastien Vavassori, based in the United Kingdom, is a stress engineer for a leading European space manufacturer and service provider.

Nic Adams, based in Australia, supported the installation of a pathology lab automation system in a Sydney hospital, which includes a robotic handling system that helps analyze hundreds of test tubes each day.

Fidel Chirtes is based in Romania.

Andreas Anedda, based in Italy, is a postgraduate university student and holds three patents.

Mandli Peter is based in Hungary.

Ármin Fendrik, based in Hungary, is a third-year university student and this entry is among his first 3D printing designs.

Piotr Mikulski, based in Poland, works as a rapid prototyping systems specialist for a Polish-Swiss joint-venture that provides industrial and machining services.


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