GE Aviation has projected cost savings of 35% after switching the production of four land/marine turbine bleed air parts from casting to metal 3D printing.
The aerospace company worked with GE Additive to additively manufacture the four bleed air components, with the cost savings expected to be enough to retire the old casting moulds forever. Harnessing 3D printing, GE Aviation also saw significant time reductions through the conversion process, getting to a final prototype inside ten months, where as it has previously taken between 12 and 18 months when developing turbine parts.
As they look to step up their application of the technology for land/marine turbine parts, they have already identified ‘scores of other parts on a variety of engines’ as potential additive parts.
“This is a game-changer,” commented GE Aviation Additive Manufacturing Leader Eric Gatlin. “This is the first time we did a part-for-part replacement, and it was cheaper doing it with additive than casting. To make sure we demonstrated cost competitiveness, we had four outside vendors quote the parts and we still came in lower with additive manufacturing.”
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