GE’s Big 3D Printing Investment

The article “GE Bets Big on 3D Printing with $39M Additive Manufacturing Hub” (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/04/08/ge-bets-big-on-3d-printing-with-39m-additive-manufacturing-hub/ reviews GE’s “new era of manufacturing” and the focus they are putting into additive manufacturing. Per the article, GE has opened a $39M hub for additive manufacturing near Pittsburgh. This new endeavor was undertaken with the initiative to “drive innovation and implementation of additive manufacturing across the company”.  GE hopes to use this new additive manufacturing hub for application across all of GE’s business lines. Per the article, GE states that the facility “reflects the company’s belief that the intersection of technology and manufacturing – hardware and software – will change the way products are developed and serviced.

Why the focus on 3D printing? “3D printing increases efficiency and reduces waste, making it a valuable tool in efforts to make manufacturing more sustainable.” GE has already begun its intentions to adopt 3D printing capabilities by announcing a project in November with the Department of Energy that will use 3D printed turbines in a process that could make desalinated seawater 20 percent less costly to produce. With GE being a major player in the manufacturing industry, it will be interesting to see their utilization of 3D printing and how it will affect the industry as a whole.

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