Story 2014-02-25 3ET 3D Printing Goes Heavy Duty - Complex Metal Parts for Power Generation Equipment

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?
Reply 3 comments

More Details (Score: 2)

by on 2014-02-25 05:27 (#60)

I wish articles like this had more details. Are Seimens and GE buying 3d printing machines from someone else, or using their own? What metals are they using for the 3d printing? How does the strength of the product compare to alternate manufacturing methods? That being an industry publication I'm sure the people reading it would be able to handle the details. So, does anyone here know the nitty-gritty or links to places with more details of metal based 3d printing?


Re: More Details (Score: 3, Informative)

by 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.)

Re: More Details (Score: 3, Informative)

by 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, and this video shows the machine they're using: which seems to come from MCP systems.. found this talking about their tech:, though I think they may have been renamed.