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

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 insulatedkiwi@pipedot.org on 2014-02-25 12:12 (#69)

GE is outsourcing to Arcam Systems, everything in the article points to Siemens doing it inhouse, though they don't mention if the machinery is theirs or purchased from someone else. Found a few other articles from them, http://www.industry.siemens.com/topics/global/en/magazines/industry-journal/1-2013/pages/3d-printers-the-future-has-already-begun.aspx and this video shows the machine they're using: http://www.manufacturing.net/news/2013/12/siemens-3d-prints-toughest-christmas-tree-ever which seems to come from MCP systems.. found this talking about their tech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4odUhDjKHzo, though I think they may have been renamed.
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