GE Additive announced it has been awarded a contract by General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. GE Additive Print Services will support General Dynamics with part qualification, production, post processing and inspection of additively manufactured components. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
General Dynamics and GE Additive are working together to identify applications in which additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, can provide value through weight reduction, performance optimization and lead time reduction.
General Dynamics recently worked with GE Additive to move a titanium cable guard to production. This one-piece titanium component was designed by General Dynamics to replace an 18-piece welded steel component, yielding an 85% weight savings compared with the existing part. The cable guard will be the first additively manufactured metal production part on a U.S. ground combat vehicle, paving the way for similar applications to follow.
Teams from General Dynamics and GE Additive are focused on detailed process development activities to ensure a seamless transition from prototype to production. This involves creating a standard build plate orientation, as well as support structures and quality control plans to deliver an efficient and repeatable production process.
The cable guards will be additively manufactured for production on GE Additive Arcam EBM Q20plus machines, which are well suited to titanium alloys because the process takes place in vacuum at elevated temperatures, eliminating residual stress and providing superior material properties.