Perhaps my favorite thing about 3D printing is that it has given creative people a way to bring their creations to life. Whether you’ve designed a trinket, toy, bracelet or part, 3D printing can make it real for you. That is cool and I have seen some neat designs come to life just as their owners had always hoped they would.
But the future of 3D printing doesn’t stop there. This technology has the power to help the greater good as well. In the years ahead you will see thousands of examples of 3D printing making products more efficient, stronger, lighter or cost effective.
And for companies like General Electric (GE), that future is already here. GE has completely bought into 3D printing and the impact it can have on manufacturing. This of course is just the latest example of GE’s constant search for new innovations.
The company already sponsors The Tonight Show’s young inventor segments and starting in 2016, GE will use 3D printed parts in aircraft engines. These 3D printed parts include fuel nozzles and turbine systems for use in engine platforms. In addition, GE researchers, through a partnership with Snecma (www.snecma.com), are producing CFM LEAP engines that will have 19 3D-printed fuel nozzles in the combustion system. These new parts are significantly lighter than the current nozzle offerings and the simpler design requires only one part instead of 18. Finally, 3D printing is allowing the team at GE to create more intricate designs to allow for better cooling pathways and a durability five times greater than conventional parts.
These are just a few of the ways GE is leading the market in 3D printing innovation. Now it’s up to all of us to keep pace. To read more on GE global research go to: www.geglobalresearch.com