Optomec, a leading global supplier of production grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics (Aerosol Jet) and 3D printed metals (LENS), unveiled a hybrid controlled atmosphere system based on LENS metal additive manufacturing technology. This new LENS system enables additive and subtractive processing of aluminum, titanium and other reactive metals in one affordable machine tool platform.
Optomec also showed a 3D Printed Sensor application that was developed working with its customer General Electric (GE). The production solution uses Optomec’s Aerosol Jet system to print passive strain sensors directly onto turbine blades used in an industrial gas turbine.
The sensors are composed of a ceramic material that can withstand the high operating temperatures seen in the hot section of the gas turbine. These sensors can detect deformations in the underlying metal that could ultimately result in an expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure. GE recently unveiled this proprietary 3D Printed Sensor technology at their Future of Work Showcase in Boston. The data from the sensors has a direct tie to GE’s Predix software platform, demonstrating the digital convergence between Additive Manufacturing and the Internet of Things.