3D Printing Goes Heavy Duty - Complex Metal Parts for Power Generation Equipment

by
in hardware on (#3ET)
story imageAn article in Power Magazine discusses how manufacturers of power generating equipment are planning to use 3D printing in metal for production of complex machinery parts:

Siemens announced in December that it would begin using 3D printing - also known as additive manufacturing - to produce replacement burner components for gas turbines rather than using conventional methods. It said that for certain types of turbines, repair times can be cut by as much as 90%.

Meanwhile, GE Aviation announced that it would contract with Swedish company Arcam to produce 3D-printed components for its jet engines. Its oil and gas division plans to start pilot production of 3D-printed gas turbines fuel nozzles later this year. With conventional manufacturing methods, the nozzles are assembled from 20 separate parts, but with 3D printing, they can be created in a single piece.

NASA used similar methods previously to manufacture parts for the J2-X engine, according to this article at Extreme Tech . So, how far will this technology spread? How long will it be before consumer-oriented metal objects are being printed just-in-time at your local department store?

Re: More Details (Score: 3, Informative)

by wjwlsn@pipedot.org on 2014-02-25 06:03 (#63)

Good questions. I wish I'd included the following link in the submission... it provides some details about Electron Beam Melting tech. (This is from the company that GE is apparently working with.)

http://www.arcam.com/technology/electron-beam-melting/
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