GE Additive and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding as the cornerstone of a new collaborative effort aimed at supporting the U.S. Department of Defense‘s (DoD) accelerated adoption of metal additive manufacturing technology.
Additive manufacturing technology within the commercial and military aerospace and defense sector has grown significantly over the past decade, and in that time, GE and Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) have worked closely with the DoD, FAA and other stakeholders to accelerate safe adoption of AM for high criticality applications.
The partnership will accelerate metal additive adoption within the military aerospace and defense industrial base by advocating for common practices, rapid qualification and certification, and the development of a shared database for additive manufacturing data and knowledge.
Both parties have been recognized by the DoD as industry leaders: NIAR in developing digital twins of various aging vehicles; and GE Additive in providing metal additive technology to print out-of-production and obsolete spare parts from digital twin data.
GE Additive and NIAR aim to establish an industry platform that is flexible enough to be used across all branches of the DoD.
Development of the database will also involve the implementation of students in an applied learning capacity, providing a unique new workforce that understands the intricacies of additive manufacturing qualification and implementation.
In order to be an efficient and relevant resource, GE Additive and NIAR plan to move quickly. The partnership and involvement of student employees will allow the team to rapidly develop specifications to convert metal to digital and digital to metal – part by part.