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GE prepares to launch industrial Binder Jet solution by the end of 2021

The company is actively working to enable 20, 40, 100+ machine installations for industrial production.

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GE Additive has been working to offer an industrial Binder Jet production solution to delivers quality parts at cost, at scale. The company is reporting that product development is on track and that it will launch its solution in the second half of 2021. As Desktop Metal and ExOne have joined forces, that ball is now in GE Additive’s (and HP 3D Printing’s) court to show what they can do. In spite of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the upcoming Formnext may be the ideal venue for a showdown.

When bringing a new product to market, it is of utmost importance for GE Additive to tangibly and immediately demonstrate a positive business impact for its customers. The Binder Jet solution has now been deemed to be reliable, safe and engineered to meet customers’ needs right away and in the future.

Since day one, the GE Additive Binder Jet development team has been working with partners such as Cummins (implementing a full production line), Sandvik (part of the Binder Jet beta program), Wabtec (one of the first adopters) and others, all of whom have been working together with GE to develop business cases, product roadmaps, applications and parts. It is important to these partners that the solution is mature, scalable, fit for its purpose and complete.

Customer-Centric Innovation

GE’s Binder Jet Line activates new potential for industrial scaled manufacturing so adopters can control real-time adjustments and improvements. This free-form manufacturing technology enables higher accuracy levels on intricate shapes and geometries with higher speed and flexibility. This results in a complete, configurable ecosystem of production hardware, software and GE’s AddWorks consultant engineers to bring an application from concept to production.

GE prepares to launch industrial Binder Jet solution by the end of 2021
The piston is an essential part of the internal combustion engine, key to converting the expanding gas from combustion into motion. The optimum design for strength, weight and durability is limited by the need to withdraw the casting or forging tool from the under crown. The height of the top ring – critical in controlling in-cylinder emissions and for a short, light piston – is limited by the ability to cool the top ring groove. ADDITIVE BENEFITS: By leveraging GE’s Binder Jet Line users can manufacture the piston with a structure optimized for the loads acting on them, without the need to consider tooling access. This redesigned piston has integrated cooling behind the top ring. The structural areas around the pin boss are created by topology optimization software. They can be manufactured 1:1 to the ideal shape without the need for compromise for tooling, enabling a lighter and more robust structure. This leads to improved performance and ultimately reduced emissions.

By working with GE and its binder jetting technology customers can industrialize metal additive production for automotive and industrial parts in less time and less cost than by going at it alone. They are able to leverage  the company’s deep materials knowledge and process pedigree from the experience with GE Aviation, Power and Healthcare to accelerate the implementation of additive production in any area of expertise.

H2 coming in H2

GE is promising that its production Binder Jet solution will be able to repeatably and reliably produce component geometries in the required material with the required tolerances, surface finish and material properties. It will also be able to be integrated into an automated workflow that includes de-powdering intricate parts without destroying fine features, then sintering the parts within the desired tolerances.

The total cost of ownership ($/cc) from powder to part in-hand will be, according to GE Additive, the ultimate driver of its Binder Jet technology. The company’s goal is to make industrial metal additive manufacturing an economical process for everyone. By driving down the cost of a final part, GE expects to open up new application spaces and enable agile innovation for the industry.

Thus, the Binder Jet Line has been designed to operate safely at scale. Systems minimize operator contact with machines and materials. GE’s Binder Jet technology can be integrated into reconfigurable factory cells and is automation-ready, with the company actively working to enable 20, 40, 100+ machine installations for true industrial production.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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