Tag Archives: GE

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: 3D Printing Conference, GE, MakerBot

MakerBot Store NYC

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from April 22 to April 28:

(Note: last week we attended the Inside 3D Printing conference in NYC)

Monday, April 22

Tuesday, April 23

Wednesday, April 24

Thursday, April 25

Saturday, April 27

Sunday, April 28



GE 3D Printing Initiative Named Top 10 Breakthrough Technology by MIT Technology Review

GE 3D Printing Breakthrough

GE 3D Printing Initiative Considered a Breakthrough

“General Electric is making a radical departure from the way it has traditionally manufactured things.” MIT Technology Review

GE is embracing 3D printing. Starting with its aviation division, some complex parts will be created through additive manufacturing rather than conventional methods. This innovation could carry over into other divisions as well.

The MIT Technology Review referred to GE’s move as one of the top 10 breakthrough technologies this year, and provided more background on how GE got here.

Last fall, GE purchased a pair of companies with know-how in automated precision manufacturing of metals and then folded the technology into the operations of GE Aviation. That group doesn’t have much time to demonstrate that its new technology can work at scale. CFM International, GE’s joint venture with France’s Snecma, will use the 3D printed nozzles in its LEAP jet engine, due to go into planes in late 2015 or early 2016 (CFM says it already has commitments of $22 billion). Each engine will use 10 to 20 nozzles; GE needs to make 25,000 of the nozzles annually within three years.

3D printing is a cost advantage

It is widely believed the 3D printing is more expensive than conventional methods of manufacturing, but GE has found a way to make 3D printing a cost advantage, as the MIT Technology Review explains.

GE chose the additive process for manufacturing the nozzles because it uses less material than conventional techniques. That reduces GE’s production costs and, because it makes the parts lighter, yields significant fuel savings for airlines.


Via MIT Technology Review.

Image from GE Global Research.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Black Friday, Portraits, M&A

3D Printing Black Friday Deals

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from November 21 to November 25.

GE Acquires Morris: Additive Manufacturing Enhances Production

Morris Technologies 3D Printing

GE Aviation has acquired the assets of Morris Technologies, and its sister company, Rapid Quality Manufacturing, precision manufacturing companies operating in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio.  Terms were not disclosed.

The two privately-held companies, with about 130 Cincinnati-area employees, specialize in additive manufacturing, an automated process for creating rapid prototypes and end-use production components.

With this acquisition, GE Aviation continues to expand its engineering and manufacturing capabilities to meet its growing jet engine production rates over the next five years. (In addition to acquiring these manufacturing processes, GE Aviation will open two new production plants in the United States next year.)

“Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing are parts of our investment in emerging manufacturing technologies,” said Colleen Athans, vice president and general manager of the Supply Chain Division at GE Aviation.  “Our ability to develop state-of-the-art manufacturing processes for emerging materials and complex design geometry is critical to our future.  We are so fortunate to have Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing just minutes from our headquarters.  We know them well.”

The additive manufacturing process involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part.  The process creates the layered cross-sections using a laser beam to melt the raw material. These parts tend to be lighter than traditional forged parts because they don’t require the same level of welding.  Additive manufacturing also generates less scrap material during the fabrication process.

Founded by Cincinnati natives Greg Morris, Wendell Morris and Bill Noack in 1994, Morris Technologies (Sharonville) and Rapid Quality Manufacturing (West Chester) have supplied parts to GE Aviation for several years, as well as to GE Power Systems and our Global Research Center. The companies have made everything from lightweight parts for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the U.S. military to hip replacement prototypes for the medical field.  The Sharonville and West Chester facilities will become part of GE Aviation’s global network of manufacturing operations.

Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing have already been contracted by GE Aviation to produce components for the best-selling LEAP jet engine being developed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France.  The LEAP engine, which is scheduled to enter service in the middle of this decade on three different narrow-body aircraft, has already received more than 4,000 engine orders before the first full engine has even gone to test.

Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing focus on the aerospace, energy, oil & gas, and medical industries.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (GE), is a leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components, and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us atwww.geaviation.com.  Follow GE Aviation on twitter at http://twitter.com/geaviation and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/geaviation.

Pentagon Offers Prizes for Crowdsourced Military Vehicle Designs

DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), in collaboration with MIT, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and GE, is initiating a program to crowdsource designs for the next generation of military vehicles.

The New York Times reports about the Vehicleforge.mil program:

The near-term target, they said, is to collaborate on a design for an amphibious vehicle for the Marines. The first contest, with a $1 million prize, is planned for early next year. It involves mobility and drive-train subsystems for the vehicle. Next, about six months later, will be the design for the chassis and other subsystems, a contest that will carry another $1 million prize.

While not directly related to 3D printing, there is a connection. By crowdsourcing ideas for new military vehicles,  the government is extending military design beyond the walls of the Pentagon. DARPA is acknowledging that the wisdom of the crowds might be a great way to augment the expertise of its staff.

If this model proves out, it could lead to wider adoption of crowdsourced design for other industries, such as consumer products, fashion and sports. Enter 3D printers and you have a future where individuals can leverage crowdsourced designs to find new products and print them in their own home or community.

It’s going to happen.

Read more about the Vehicleforge.mil program at the New York Times.