6/26/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

GE Additive to Develop Large-Scale Laser-Based Metal 3D Printer

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A production version of the printer is expected to be available for sale next year.

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GE Additive has announced it is developing a laser-powered metal 3D printer that it believes will be the world's largest such system. The printer will be able to make parts that fit inside a 1-m cube. 

“The machine will 3D print aviation parts suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft,” says Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive. “It will also be applicable for manufacturers in the automotive, power, and oil and gas industries.”

GE Additive recently acquired a majority stake in Concept Laser, which currently offers the X Line 2000R, a large metal 3D printer with a build envelope measuring 800 × 400 × 500 mm. Concept Laser engineers will work on the new machine together with GE experts.

The first demonstrator version of the printer, called ATLAS, will 3D print objects ranging to 1 m long in at least two directions from titanium, aluminum and other metals.

The production version, still to be named, will extend the third dimension to a meter. According to GE Additive, the machine's build geometry will be customizable and scalable to customer needs.  

“We have customers collaborating with us, and they will receive beta versions of the machine by year’s end,” Ehteshami says. The production version will be available for purchase next year, he says.

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