GE Additive unveils metre-class metal AM machine
GE Additive today unveiled the first BETA machine developed as part of its Project A.T.L.A.S program. The meter-class, laser powder-bed fusion machine has been developed to provide manufacturers of large parts and components with a scalable solution that can be configured and customized to their own specific industry applications.
Project A.T.L.A.S (Additive Technology Large Area System) is GE Additive’s company-wide program to develop the next generation large additive machines. This first BETA machine was developed in just nine months and complements the company’s existing portfolio of products.
Ideally suited to industries that require large complex metal parts, such as aviation, automotive, space and oil and gas industries, the new BETA machine builds on technology previously developed by GE, combined with Concept Laser’s expertise in laser additive machines. The first few BETA machines are currently being evaluated by a small group of customers and more are available for delivery in 2018.
“Irrespective of industry, every customer has its own specific needs and its own unique levels of complexity. We regularly hear that next-generation machines need to be customizable and configurable. The new meter-class machine we’re debuting at formnext is our response to that feedback - a solution that is scalable and customizable and meets the needs of our industry, as it matures,” said Mohammad Ehteshami Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive.
The machine’s feature resolution and build rate speeds are better than machines available today and has a scalable architecture that can increase the ‘Z’ axis to 1.0M and beyond.
Well-suited for large components with high resolution and complex geometries, such as aerospace-class parts, the machine incorporates the latest laser technology - and the ability to be reconfigured to incorporate additional lasers – as well as discrete dosing to save on powder and cost.
Key features of this first, new machine - on show at formnext - include:
- Build volume: 1.1 x 1.1 x 0.3M (x,y,z)
- Gantry-based architecture
- The latest 1kW laser
- 3D scanner translates with laser
- Discrete dosing
- Optimal air flow over the print area
- Best-in-class feature resolution
- Process and machine health monitoring (enabled by Predix software – GE’s cloud-based operating system)
“Bringing innovation and technologies to market in just nine months demonstrates exactly what we mean by accelerating the additive manufacturing industr. Our Project A.T.L.A.S is one way we are helping our customers be more efficient and nimble as the sector matures,” said Frank Herzog, founder and CEO, Concept Laser. “This demonstrates what’s possible when we combine the strength of Concept Laser with GE.”
For many years, GE has been a leading end user and innovator in the additive manufacturing space. In addition to the $1.4 billion investment in Concept Laser and Arcam, GE has also invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies over the past 10 years, developed additive applications across all GE businesses, created new services applications across the company, and earned hundreds of patents in material science. In 2016, the company established GE Additive to become a leading supplier of additive technology, materials and services for industries and businesses worldwide.