GE Considers 3D Printing Turbine Blades for Next Generation Boeing 777X’s GE9X Engines . Discover how our people & technology are solving global issues, improving lives, and changing industries. 3D printing was seen as a very attractive option for large products such as wind turbine blades, which are very labor intensive, primarily done by hand labor of depositing large amounts of composite material, making the molds themselves quite costly and timely to make. Foot-long low pressure turbine blades in the GE9X are also 3D printed, reducing overall engine weight and maximizing size and power. In the wind-power industry, this could mean optimized wind-turbine blades per tower in a wind farm. Transforming how industry solves its toughest challenges by bringing simplicity, speed and scale to digital transformation. GE Aviation’s GE9X engine, which is equipped with more than 200 metal additively manufactured turbine blades, has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).. Read the results of the 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer, titled “Pride and Protectionism: A Quest for Innovation Agency.”. The goal is to help organizations adopt additive manufacturing technology faster by offering the ability to take parts from an idea to production. Access GE’s recent and historic Annual Reports and accompanying materials. GE’s Cameri operations are indicative of the advances taking place in manufacturing today. Power giant Vattenfall will boost the power capacity of its turbine at its iconic district heating plant in Mitte, Berlin, by 21 MW using the parts. Passmore's 3D-printed parts will soon be helping to keep the German capital warm. Voices is a network for GE’s US supporters interested in the company’s impact in their communities and in issues that impact the company. GE Additive’s Arcam EBM A2X machines are capable of producing six blades per batch, while the Spectra H system can produce up to ten blades in around the same time. We’re deeply proud of GE employees around the world rising to the challenge. “It’s just hypnotic,” he says. Later in 2019, it was revealed that GE Aviation had added 27 Arcam electron beam melting (EBM) machines to produce titanium aluminide (TiAl) blades for the GE9X engine. Creating the energy technologies of the future and improving the power networks that we depend on today. GE Additive Print Services Center is a full-scale, certified AS9100/ISO9001 additive printing and post-processing facility. We connect capital to infrastructure and deliver innovative financial solutions that help make the world work better. GE Aviation is a world-leading provider of aircraft engines, systems and avionics. GT13E2. The printer works with microscopic precision and Passmore admits losing himself as he watches a turbine part growing slowly before his eyes. Explore the latest stories, news, downloads, and press tools. Siemens, EOS and Materials Solutions challenge existing technologies to advance and truly industrialize 3D printing. “When I saw the parts coming out of the machine, I thought, ‘Wow — we have arrived.’”, enough to supply with electricity the equivalent of. Explore a timeline of GE technologies that have spurred transformation across the world. 3D printing in the GEnx. is the first time anyone has used a 3D-printed, full-size part directly in a gas turbine upgrade. One of those blades is being swung repeatedly in the hand of Arcam’s General Manager Karl Lindblom to prove how light the component is. In order to receive FAA certification, the … At the GE Power Services manufacturing site in Birr, Switzerland, his team recently used the Hamuel machine to not just repair blades, but also modify them for improved performance. Key features include a 133" diameter composite fan case and 16 composite fan blades; a next-generation 27:1 pressure ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation twin annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor for greater efficiency and low emissions; and ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material in the combustor and turbine. But 3D printing gives engineers a new level of sophistication, and they can make heat shields with advanced internal air passages. GE's dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. It also opens up the potential for additional revenue of up to $3 million per year. Making blades for an engine turbine typically involves casting them from red-hot alloys or pounding them out on massive forging machines. Explore a career with us. GE estimates that this new upgrade, the company calls it "MXL2 with Additively Manufactured Performance (AMP)," can help power producers save up to $2 million in fuel annually. But it is the first time anyone has used a 3D-printed, full-size part directly in a gas turbine upgrade. The team's 3D printers make the parts by with lasers welding together thin layers of metal powder — in this case, a nickel superalloy. The GE9X engine had its maiden flight last year, and the Boeing jets they’re going to power are expected to begin deliveries to airlines next year. Offering a suite of products to help unlock the full potential of additive manufacturing. Such uses vindicate the technology, Passmore says. Learn how we’re delivering on our priorities. GE's innovation engine where ideas become reality to create a better world and deliver differentiated tech across the company's industrial portfolio. Infill design of a prototype 3D printed wind turbine base [Source: COBOD] With a 200m tower, blades could be theoretically up to 200m (less ground safety clearance) in length, generating a corresponding efficiency increase in the turbine’s electrical output. But it turns out that the engineers were only getting started. GE acquired a majority stake in Arcam last fall. They use electron beams to weld together millions of grains of fine powdered metal, one hair-thin layer after another, to form some of the jet engine’s most durable parts. Avio Aero ramped up to continuous production at Cameri this spring. Commercializing GE’s technology and IP to accelerate growth and achieve market differentiation. We build intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services to enable healthcare practitioners to deliver care more efficiently and with better outcomes. It’s a critical part in the front section of the turbine that sees its hottest temperatures — over 1,200 degrees Celsius. Commercializing GE’s technology and IP to accelerate growth and achieve market differentiation. 3D printing allows engineers to sculpt intricate configurations that are impossible to achieve in a foundry. GE engineers had again squeezed new efficiencies and record reliability out of the overachieving machine known in the power industry as the GT13E2. Get ready to be blown away by these cool wind-powered prints! Together with our customers, we’re proving that no one is ever limited to only affordable, reliable, or sustainable energy. Arcam’s 3D printers solve those problems by welding metallic powder with an electron beam at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. The machine uses an electron beam, which is more powerful than laser. Explore a timeline of GE technologies that have spurred transformation across the world. Access GE’s recent and historic Annual Reports and accompanying materials. Explore the latest stories, news, downloads, and press tools. Of the seven components and 304 parts being additively manufactured for the GE9X, all except the LPT blades and the heat exchanger are cobalt chromium alloy parts. The expansion will allow Cameri to produce 60,000 turbine blades a year by 2023. Today GE unveiled a breakthrough process for 3D printing light-weight metal blades for jet engine turbines. Cast heat shields survive in the engine by being fed lots of pressurized cooling air. Voices is a network for GE’s US supporters interested in the company’s impact in their communities and in issues that impact the company. GE developed the GE9X engine for Boeing’s next-generation 777X jet. “We can also count on greater mechanical and electronic stability, and we can even consider new geometries.”. One of the innovations involves making the blades from a wonder material called titanium aluminide (TiAl). Learn about governance at GE, including the latest Proxy Statement and information about the GE Board of Directors. The company expects to add another 16 Spectra H machines to the plant in the near future, followed by a possible replacement of the smaller A2X printers with the Spectra H. “Thanks to the expansion and these new machines, we will definitely be able to produce a larger number of blades,” said Avio Aero’s Marco Bozzola, who operates the machines at the plant. Mantegazza and his colleagues are using it to print blades for the low-pressure turbine of the GE9X jet engine, the largest jet engine ever built. It’s a startling contrast, then, that less than a mile from the center of this village sits a major hub of aerospace innovation, anchored by one of largest 3D-printing factories in the world. We’re continuing to do all we can to support our customers and employees during this unprecedented time. GE Aviation acquired Avio Aero in 2013 and developed the GE9X engine for Boeing’s next-generation 777X jets. Developed by engineers at the Italian aerospace company Avio and Sweden's Arcam. “Along came additive manufacturing — or 3D printing — and it changed everything,” Passmore says. Heat resistant titanium aluminide powder + an electron beam inside Avio Aero factory = 3D printed turbine blades for the largest jet engine in the world. The General Electric GE9X is a high-bypass turbofan developed by GE Aviation exclusively for the Boeing 777X.It first ran on ground in April 2016 and first flew on March 13, 2018; it powered the 777-9's maiden flight in early 2020. Image credit: GE. This isn’t the first time that large 3D-printed objects have been used in engines. Learn all about how to print your very own 3D printed wind turbine. running 3D-printed trial parts in the engine for three years. GE will design the wind turbines, COBOD will build the 3D printer, and LafargeHolcim will make a proprietary blend of concrete for the job. This isn’t the first time that large 3D-printed objects have been used in engines. Additive manufacturing is still a young industry, albeit one that’s growing rapidly. Engineers can print several parts simultaneously — up to 20 at a time — rather than casting them one by one. Take a turbine’s stator heat shield, a paperback-size piece of metal that protects the engine’s casings. It was easy to understand why. An Arcam 3D printer at GE's Center for Additive Technologies Advancement. The 3D-printed blades spin inside the engine at 2,500 times per minute and face searing heat and titanic forces. We build intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services to enable healthcare practitioners to deliver care more efficiently and with better outcomes. Now imagine a whole row of 40 heat shields in one turbine, and you can see how efficiency gains stack up. Low pressure turbine (LTP) blades 3D-printed from titanium aluminide (TiAl) for the GE9X engine. Learn about governance at GE, including the latest Proxy Statement and information about the GE Board of Directors. are introducing custom 3D-printed glasses [1]. Our technology, global network, and exceptional team is fueled by a mission—building a world that works. The engineers fix the freshly printed parts into the turbine — and that’s when the magic happens. The greater size allows the facility to host a total of 35 Arcam machines: 31 A2X printers and four Spectra H machines, which are larger and produce more parts at once. Photo via GE Additive. GE hopes to 3D print the base of a turbine wherever they want to place it, so that they won’t need to haul around such a gigantic hunk of concrete or steel. “We’re doing whole rows in-house in one hit,” Passmore says. Access the latest press releases, media contacts, and press tools. A culture of integrity, compliance, safety, and respect for human rights, while reducing our environmental footprint. According to Siemens, 3D printing blade prototypes reduced the development and validation time for the component from two years to just two months . We connect capital to infrastructure and deliver innovative financial solutions that help make the world work better. I designed the whole engine from scratch with visual cues to certain existing engines. Accomplished leaders building GE’s legacy. Answers to popular and relevant inquiries. Following a software blueprint designed by GE engineers, each printer builds several of the 40-centimeter-long blades at once, layer by layer, over the course of a couple days. We’re deeply proud of GE employees around the world rising to the challenge. Following a software blueprint designed by GE engineers, each printer builds several of the 40-centimeter-long blades at once, layer by layer, over the course of a couple days. Operated by Avio Aero, a GE Aviation company, the plant makes the arm-sized blades for the GE9X engine, the world’s largest jet engine. Access important shareholder information. The 3D-printed parts also boost the power capacity of the gas turbine, depending on its upgrade status, by up to 21 MW. Read the results of the 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer, titled “Pride and Protectionism: A Quest for Innovation Agency.”. Together with our customers, we’re proving that no one is ever limited to only affordable, reliable, or sustainable energy. The parts help, MXL2 with Additively Manufactured Performance (AMP),". The printers were built by Arcam, a company GE acquired in 2016 and folded inside its GE Additive business. GE's dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. The turbine was — and still is — the world’s most reliable and efficient gas turbine in its class. Creating the energy technologies of the future and improving the power networks that we depend on today. At GE, we rise to the challenge of building a world that works. We’re continuing to do all we can to support our customers and employees during this unprecedented time. Explore GE’s recent and historic SEC filings. The Arcam machines use an electron gun to accelerate the beam until it’s several times more powerful than lasers currently used for printing … The GE9X engine will be in the 100,000 lb. Explore GE’s recent and historic SEC filings. Now, he describes how the application of metal 3D printing to existing turbine blades has proceeded even farther under GE. A model of a 2-spool high bypass turbofan. Jet designers love TiAl because it’s light and strong — but until 3D printing became a realistic option, manufacturing with the material was difficult, requiring molding and expensive tools. At GE, we rise to the challenge of building a world that works. It follows the GE9X engine’s first test flight on a Boeing 777X aircraft earlier this year and represents a ‘key milestone’ for GE and Boeing alike. According to GE, 3D … Accomplished leaders building GE’s legacy. GE will develop 3D-printed bases for its wind turbines, allowing them to generate more energy as they reach new heights. Using the GEnx testing engine, GE assessed new additive manufactured blades for the engine’s turbine. In 2017, the company used 3D printing to develop and test functional prototypes of gas turbine blades – small parts assembled around the periphery of a turbine rotor to guide the gas flow. I included these supports in the parts as … Transforming how industry solves its toughest challenges by bringing simplicity, speed and scale to digital transformation. thrust class. Learn how we’re delivering on our priorities. GE Aviation is a world-leading provider of aircraft engines, systems and avionics. In the next few years, the group hopes to finish a full-scale wind turbine prototype with 3D printed base, a production printer, and enough materials to scale. You just can’t get the same results with parts made by traditional metal casting, Passmore says. Vattenfall has already been running 3D-printed trial parts in the engine for three years. GE's innovation engine where ideas become reality to create a better world and deliver differentiated tech across the company's industrial portfolio. GE’s Power and Healthcare divisions are also exploring 3D printing, as are many of GE Additive’s customers, who use the technology to build everything from bicycles to skull implants. You just can’t get the same results with parts made by traditional metal casting, Passmore says. But it is the first time anyone has used a 3D-printed, full-size part directly in a gas turbine upgrade. It received its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certificate on September 25. — David Joyce, president and CEO, GE Aviation 1. A culture of integrity, compliance, safety, and respect for human rights, while reducing our environmental footprint. For instance, GE engineers are also 3D-printing sleek turbine blades for the GE9X, the world’s largest jet engine, which took its maiden flight in March. The beam enables the machines to print faster and fuse layers as thick at 100 microns, twice the width of what a laser can print. A foundry Cameri this spring its upgrade status, by up to 20 at a —... 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