Engineering Materials

GE Aviation Steps Up 3D-Printed Engine Parts

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Ann R. Thryft
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Not just jet engines, but submersible pumps, too
Ann R. Thryft   9/16/2014 1:36:51 PM
If anyone is going to make 3D printing part of their internal manufacturing operations, it's got to be GE. Not only is GE Aviation doing all, this R&D -- which will soon become P (production) -- but GE is also developing 3DP technology for use in some of its other operations. For example, the oil & gas division is piloting the use of 3D printing for manufacturing submersible pumps, with full production expected next year.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Not just jet engines, but submersible pumps, too
Cabe Atwell   9/16/2014 6:47:32 PM

Wow, GE is really amping up and embracing 3D printing! The numbers are astounding with 1,000 parts to 40,000 in just 5 years. Nobody would have imagined that just 5 years ago.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: Not just jet engines, but submersible pumps, too
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2014 12:11:27 PM
Aren't these numbers awesome, Cabe? Every time I think I've gotten used to the statistics of 3D printing's accelerated pace, I turn around and get blown away by something else someone's doing. Like these guys.

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Plastic printed parts
mrthekid   9/17/2014 8:42:06 AM
This makes me a bit nervous actually as in my field (appliance) we use printed plastic parts all the time and I've not found one single version yet that has been able to hold up in a 160°F, 7 psi environment without leaking within one or two cycles.  We have used several different companies trying to find good parts and we have had no success, they all make bold claims as to how strong, water proof, wear resistant, etc their parts are but so far it is all bluster.  When I see a durable, water proof, cost effective part then my mind will change on this technology but until then I see it as good for fit and function work at best. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: Plastic printed parts
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2014 1:43:42 PM
mrthekid, as always it's a question of matching the right material with the right design and manufacturing process to meet the customer's (your) specs. It's unfortunate that you've had such bad experiences. I know that reputable companies do exist, at least in the US.

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