Description: General Electric (GE), on the hunt for ways to build more than 85,000 fuel nozzles for its new Leap jet engines, is making a big investment in 3D printing. Usually the nozzles are assembled from 20 different parts. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing can create the units in one metal piece, through a successive layering of materials. The process is more efficient and can be used to create designs that can’t be made using traditional techniques, GE says. The finished product is stronger and lighter than those made on the assembly line and can withstand the extreme temperatures (up to 2,400F) inside an engine. There’s just one problem: Today’s industrial 3D printers don’t have enough capacity to handle GE’s production needs, which require faster, higher-quality output at a lower cost.
Date: Nov 27, 2013
Questions for Discussions:
- What are the benefits to using 3D printing technology, according to GE?
- What do you think should concern GE management as it moves further towards adopting this technology in manufacturing processes?