At the International Airshow in Le Bourget, General Electric unveiled a prototype of the world's largest laser 3D printer, with which in the near future it will be possible to print almost any metal parts for aircraft. The printer is being developed by a new division of the company - GE Additive.
The main specialization of the printer is the printing of parts for jet engines and some other parts of aircraft. It can also be used in the automotive and oil and gas industries.
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"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 parts.
The largest laser printer is called Atlas and will be able to print parts up to 1 cubic meter. Printing titanium parts will save $ 2 to $ 3 million on each aircraft.