GE Additive creates world's largest laser-powder 3D printer

GE Additive says that it is developing the world's largest laser-powder additive manufacturing (AM) machine for aerospace applications.

The machine will reportedly be able to print in a ‘build envelop’ of 1 m cubed (1000 mm x 1000 mm x 1000 mm).

‘The machine will 3D print aviation parts that are one meter in diameter, suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft,’ said Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive. ‘The machine will also be applicable for manufacturers in the automotive, power, and oil and gas industries.’

The initial technology demonstrator machine, called ATLAS, is a laser/powder machine and will be 1000 mm in at least two directions, GE says. In the machine's production version (1000 mm x 1000 mm x 1000 mm), the build geometry will be customizable and scalable for an individual customer's project. It is also designed to be used with multiple materials, including non-reactive and reactive materials such as aluminum and titanium.

First deliveries

‘We have customers collaborating with us and they will receive beta versions of the machine by year's end,’ said Ehteshami. ‘The production version (yet to be named) will be available for purchase next year.’ GE is targeting first deliveries of the machine in late 2018.

Concept Laser, owned by GE, currently has the largest laser-powder bed additive machine on the market with a build envelope of 800 mm x 400  mm x 500 mm.

This story is reprinted from material from GE, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.