Written by: Steve Melito, Industry Blog Writer for FuzeHub

GE Aviation Invests $50 Billion on 3D Printing

Image Credit: CFM International via Albany Business Review

GE Aviation is proving that the future of advanced manufacturing involves 3D printing. At a time when many manufacturers are still exploring or experimenting with 3D printers for parts prototyping, the aircraft engine builder is investing $50 billion in production equipment. “We spent years proving out this technology for a critical component,” says Greg Morris, GE Aviation’s General Manager for Additive Manufacturing.

The equipment upgrade to the company’s Auburn, Alabama plant will put at least 10 new 3D printers on the factory floor. Eventually, more than 50 machines could occupy a third of the 300,000 square-foot facility. Meanwhile, back at GE Aviation’s headquarters near Cincinnati, engineers will continue to develop new 3D printed components.

At the factory in Alabama, Greg Morris is ready to prove that additive manufacturing could be “game changing for future engine programs and designs”. When production begins in 2015, the new 3D printers will manufacture fuel nozzles for a LEAP engine that’s a joint venture between the GE subsidiary and CFM International, a division of Safran of France.

Years ago, early jet engine work took place at General Electric’s Syracuse, New York turbine plant. As manufacturers across the Empire State eye GE Aviation’s efforts in Ohio and Alabama, the Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM) is building laboratories that offer access to technologies like 3D printers. For NYS manufacturers without $50-billion budgets, there’s still room to invest in 3D printing.

View original story: GE Aviation Invests $50M in 3-D Printing Plant

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