GE Additive (NYSE: GE) says it is creating the world’s largest laser-powder additive manufacturing machine.
Tailored for the aerospace industry, the machine will be able to print in a build envelop of one meter cubed (1000 mm x 1000 mm x 1000 mm). The development project, announced at The Paris Air Show, will be unveiled in November at the Formnext Show in Frankfurt, Germany.
The build size will be useful for printing aviation parts and is also applicable for automotive, power, and oil and gas applications.
The initial technology demonstrator machine, called “ATLAS,” is a laser/powder machine and will be ‘meter-class’ (1000 mm) in at least two directions. The GE team has been developing the machine over the past two years and several proof-of-concept machines have been built.
In the machine’s production version, the build geometry will be customizable and scalable for an individual customer’s project. Its feature resolution and build-rate speeds will equal or better today’s additive machines. It is also designed to be used with multiple materials, including non-reactive and reactive materials (such as aluminium and titanium).
Customers collaborating with the development will receive beta versions of the machine by year’s end. The production version (yet to be named) will be available for purchase next year. GE is targeting first deliveries of the machine in late 2018.
The technology demonstrator builds upon GE technology, combined with Concept Laser’s expertise in laser additive machines. Concept Laser currently has the largest laser-powder bed additive machine on the market with a build envelope of 800 mm x 400 mm x 500 mm.