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Thursday, July 24, 2014

GE Aviation Embraces Additive Manufacturing

LEAP Engine

A detail of the LEAP fuel injection nozzle produced by GE Aviation. Credit: GE Aviation.

GE has released a video describing the ways it expects additive manufacturing (AM) to greatly impact its aviation solutions by providing low-weight, robust components for aerospace applications.

“I think what additive manufacturing gives us is a whole different degree of freedom in how we think about component design,” David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio, explains in the video. “We no longer have to understand what the limitations of machining are, and what the costs of those limitations are. So now we’ve taken many of those processes and have been able to blow them out with additive. That gives the designer a whole different pallet of colors to paint with, and truly on a whole new canvas.”

“What’s pretty exciting for the additive technologies is we believe we have the capability to produce components and alloys that would be very difficult or impossible actually to produce traditionally,” adds Greg Morris of the Additive Development Center.

The video also shows how AM allows GE Aviation to redesign an injection fuel nozzle for the LEAP jet engine. The AM-produced nozzle features a solid body, avoids fuel coking issues, and is lighter than traditionally manufactured nozzles.

GE Aviation also signed an agreement with Sigma Labs of Santa Fe, N.M., to improve its additive technologies with Sigma metrology and proprietary software solutions, as reported in Dayton Daily News.

Stick to IMT Machining Journal next week when we bring you live coverage of additive manufacturing conference and expo RAPID 2013 from Pittsburgh, Pa.

Brian Lane

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