We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Print Me a Jet Engine

24th November 2012

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CONFIRMATION as to how seriously some companies are taking additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, came on November 20th when GE Aviation, part of the world’s biggest manufacturing group, bought a privately owned company called Morris Technologies. This is a small precision-engineering firm employing 130 people in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. Morris Technologies has invested heavily in 3D printing equipment and will be printing bits for a new range of jet engines.Morris Technologies uses a number of 3D printing machines, all of which work by using a digital description of an object to build it in physical form, layer by layer. Among the 3D printing technologies used by Morris Technologies is laser sintering. This involves spreading a thin layer of metallic powder onto a build platform and then fusing the material with a laser beam. The process is repeated until an object emerges. Laser sintering is capable of producing all kinds of metal parts, including components made from aerospace-grade titanium.

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