Sixty other designs are being perfected, some reducing the number of parts … “I’ve been doing this for three years now, but I still have to take a step back and remind myself what it is we are trying to do and why,” he says. As a result, more than a third of the engine is 3D-printed. “I like to get my hands dirty and get to understand the inner working of the machine, rather than just churning out hardware,” he says. Additive manufacturing is still a young industry, albeit one going through a growth spurt. Read the latest GE financial news releases and stories. “When the project first came to us, we said, ‘This is an oddball, this is an outlier,'” Gatlin says. But Martinello and his colleagues have just taken that feat to a new level. The designers reduced 855 separate parts down to just 12. And just across from the plant’s runway stands another futuristic manufacturing gem: Avio Aero’s 3D-printing factory making sleek turbine blades for the GE9X, the world’s largest jet engine, which took its maiden flight last week. Explore a career with us. Every two weeks, engineers pitch their ideas to this diverse body, which includes employees from GE Aviation’s supply chain, engineering and engine product lines. That created some hand-wringing. Our proprietary process optimizes every aspect of aerospace development and enables faster, more frequent, and lower cost access to space. “But we had positive experiences with 3D printing on a military project.”, The company decided to take advantage of the nearby Joint Strike Fighter assembly plant and set up its additive manufacturing shop nearby. Read on to see how. “This is true if you have to print just one part,” he says. “These are big blades,” says Giorgio Abrate, general manager for engineering at Avio Aero. Aircraft engineering . “They were already convinced,” Abrate says. The 3D-printed blades spin inside the engine at 2,500 times per minute and face searing heat and titanic forces. Explore a timeline of GE technologies that have spurred transformation across the world. Electric motors & generators engineering . He says this is especially important in aviation because of tight FAA regulations due to the importance of safety and quality in air travel. The aluminium manifold inlet, 3D printed on a Concept Laser X LINE 2000R from GE Additive, took five days to complete. Read the results of the 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer, titled “Pride and Protectionism: A Quest for Innovation Agency.”. “But as soon as you have to print thousands of copies of the same part consistently, you are in a territory that’s both similar to traditional manufacturing, but also more complex than anything that we’ve had before.”. Commercializing GE’s technology and IP to accelerate growth and achieve market differentiation. The first GEnx engines used brackets made with traditional methods such as milling. Read the results of the 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer, titled “Pride and Protectionism: A Quest for Innovation Agency.”. GE Aviation is a world-leading provider of aircraft engines, systems and avionics. “It looks like one of those woodblock puzzles, where all the pieces fit together,” Gatlin says. GE Additive Print Services Center is a full-scale, certified AS9100/ISO9001 additive printing and post-processing facility. To do so, the team also had to “production-proof” the new line of printers for the part. 3D printing is still so new that Martinello, who is 37, is often learning on the job. Explore the latest stories, news, downloads, and press tools. 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