3D: GE & EADS will Print Parts for Aircrafts

3D: GE & EADS will Print Parts for Aircrafts
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Technology Review reports that the two consortiums will start manufacturing aircraft parts using 3D printers. As stated by TR:

“Technology for printing three-dimensional objects has existed for decades, but its applications have been largely limited to novelty items and specialized custom fabrication, such as the making of personalized prosthetics. But  the technology has now improved to the point that these printers can make intricate objects out of durable materials , including ceramics and metals such as titanium and aluminum,  with resolution on the scale of tens of micrometers.”

Recent improvements in 3-D printers can manufacture tiny components from a wide range of materials, from ceramics to metals. GE researchers developed a new 3-D printing method involving a ceramic slurry exposed to an ultraviolet light. It solidifies when exposed to the light, and in this way, the transducers are built up layer by layer, rather than carved away.

The system is not yet ready for mass production but it lowers the costs of the current manufacturing process. The video showcases the additive process used to build 3D structures. More details can be found on Scott Smith GE Blog at the Diagnostics & Biomedical Imaging group in Niskayuna, NY USA.

Source: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-05/new-ge-3-d-printer-lab-will-manufacture-parts-ultrasound-machines-airplanes-and-more

Photo Credit: GE – Additive manufacturing: building blocks for the future