At the International Air Show in Le Bourget, General Electric presented a prototype of the world’s largest laser 3D printer, with the help of which in the near future it will be possible to print almost any metal parts for aircraft. The new division of the company – GE Additive – is developing the printer.
The main specialization of the printer is printing parts for jet engines and some other parts of aircraft. It can also be used in the automotive and oil and gas industries.
“Ink” for a printer is a special metal powder that is baked with a laser and applied layer by layer, forming the desired configuration in accordance with the digital 3D model. The resulting parts are much cheaper and lighter than cast ones.
The largest laser printer is called Atlas and will be able to print details up to 1 cubic meter. Printing titanium parts will save on every plane from 2 to 3 million dollars.