GE Additive has outlined a new project to develop a laser-powder additive manufacturing machine for aluminium and titanium parts with an industry-leading volume of one cubic meter.
The machine, named the Atlas, will be "suitable for making jet engine components and parts for single-aisle aircraft", says Mohammad Ehteshami, vice-president and general manager for GE Additive.
GE plans to unveil the machine at the Formnext show in Frankfurt, Germany this November. Deliveries to customers should begin in late 2018, GE says.
The aircraft engines and systems manufacturer had been pushing to expand the state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing for several years. GE first introduced 3D-printed fuel nozzles in the CFM International Leap-1 engine family. 3D-printed low pressure turbine blades will be introduced in the GE9X engine, which is in development for the Boeing 777X.
Compared to the build volume offered by the Atlas, however, GE's existing machines accommodate only the smallest parts and components for 3D-printed metals.