Nov 14, 2017

GE Additive, the 3D printing arm of General Electric, is at the forefront of developments in industrial 3D printing. The company today unveiled the first scalable, meter-class, laser powder-bed fusion BETA machine developed as part of its Project A.T.L.A.S program.

An advanced technique for manufacturing with nylons, metals, and other materials, laser-powder additive manufacturing machine works by directing a laser onto a bed of powder. The technique is useful for small-scale production as well as rapid prototyping. However GE's groundbreaking machine is specifically designed for the aviation, automotive, space and oil and gas industries to allow manufacturers of large parts and components configure and customize to their own unique requirements.

Project A.T.L.A.S (Additive Technology Large Area System) is GE Additive’s company-wide program to develop the next generation large additive machines. This first BETA machine was developed in just nine months and builds on technology previously developed by GE, combined with Concept Laser’s expertise in laser additive machines.

According to GE Additive, the machine’s feature resolution and build rate speeds are better than machines available today and has a scalable architecture that can increase the ‘Z’ axis to 1.0M and beyond. The BETA machine also incorporates the latest laser technology - and the ability to be reconfigured to incorporate additional lasers – as well as discrete dosing to save on powder and cost.

Key features include:

  • Build volume: 1.1 x 1.1 x 0.3M (x,y,z)
  • Gantry-based architecture
  • The latest 1kW laser
  • 3D scanner translates with laser
  • Discrete dosing
  • Optimal air flow over the print area
  • Best-in-class feature resolution
  • Process and machine health monitoring (enabled by Predix software – GE’s cloud-based operating system)

“Irrespective of industry, every customer has its own specific needs and its own unique levels of complexity. We regularly hear that next-generation machines need to be customizable and configurable. The new meter-class machine we’re debuting at formnext is our response to that feedback - a solution that is scalable and customizable and meets the needs of our industry, as it matures,” said Mohammad Ehteshami Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive.

The first few BETA machines are currently being evaluated by a small group of customers and more are available for delivery in 2018.

For years, GE has been a leading end user and innovator in the additive manufacturing space. In addition to the $1.4 billion investment in Concept Laser and Arcam, GE has also invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies over the past 10 years. In 2016, the company established GE Additive to become a leading supplier of additive technology, materials and services for industries and businesses worldwide.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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