Printing metal parts for planes can reduce the cost and cut down on the waste. For the Leap Jet Engines General Electric has been on the lookout for 3D printers to build 85, 000 fuel nozzles. It is aiming at investing a large amount in 3D printing. 20 different fragments are used to build the nozzles. 3D printing is also referred as additive manufacturing and can create a single metal slice with layers of metals placed successively. With conventional techniques, this kind of designs cannot be created. This fact is reiterated by General Electric. The final products are firm and light-weighted.
This technique to build the metal parts cannot be undertaken with the 3D printers used in the industry. The final products of 3D printing can withstand high temperatures, which can resist up to 2400 F inside the engine of a plane. The 3D printers used in the industries in present times cannot cater to the requirements of General Electric. GE requires swifter and better quality to make its nozzles at a lesser price. Greg Morrison, the business development manager of additive manufacturing in GE feels that it would require 60 to 70 machines to manufacture the nozzles.
General Electric is awaiting the developments in technology and eagerly anticipating the development of new printers, which exhibit higher work capacities. General electric is aiming to increase its printing staff and expanding the floor of the work area. It is targeting at spending a huge amount of money in the following five years. It is willing to spend a part of its investments in developing technology. By 2015, the nozzles will be in the stage of production. With the advance in technology, the printing industry too has undergone a change. According to Terry Wohlers who is the President of Wohler’s Associates by 2017 the printing industry will triple to $6 billion sales.
In the year 2012 the sale of 3D printers rose to 29% and touched the $2.2 billion mark. Services related to printing and the sale of printers are expected to rise as General Electric, Seimens and Rolls Royce are investing in manufacturing metal parts with highly graded systems. This is creating a large opportunity for the companies specializing in printing. GE has tested apparatus from Concept Laser and Rock Hill. Avi Reichental the Chief Executive Officer of 3-D Systems has stated that they enjoy outstanding relationship with General Electric.
The stock results of 3D Systems have been in positive. The stock price of the firm has increased. Stratyssys is an important 3D player in the market whose stocks have accelerated by 59%. Morris feels that, in the current times, there is no appropriate supply chain which can carry out the work. He states that GE will have to include itself in bringing about the developments. With progress in technology, the 3D printing industry too has progressed. Boeing uses this technology to build the air conditioning ducts for the 787 Dreamliner Jet and Nike too use the 3D printing technology.