GE Additive Unveils Largest Metal Powder Bed Fusion 3D Printer
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on November 15, 2017 | 3184 views

Earlier this year, GE Additive gave a few sparse details about a new program that would see the company create the world’s largest powder bed metal 3D printer. At formnext 2017, the project, dubbed Project A.T.L.A.S (Additive Technology Large Area System), has now been unveiled.

Project A.T.L.A.S.is the first system developed by GE since the acquisition of metal 3D printer manufacturers Concept Laser and Arcam and the formation of GE Additive. The first beta machine, on display at the event in Frankfurt, Germany, was developed in just nine months.

With a build envelope of 1,100 x 1,100 x 300 mm, A.T.L.A.S. actually bests GE Additive itself for the largest metal powder bed fusion system, previously the X LINE 2000R, which has a build volume of 800 x 400 x 500 mm. The architecture of the machine is scalable, and GE Additive says that the Z-axis can be scaled to 1m and beyond.

It also relies on a 1-kW laser, but more lasers can be integrated into the machine, along with discrete dosing technology to save powder. The system features process and machine health monitoring enabled by GE’s cloud-based Predix operating system, part of the Industrial Internet of Things.

Project A.T.L.A.S. will be sold under Concept Laser, GE’s metal powder bed fusion manufacturer. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)
Project A.T.L.A.S. will be sold under Concept Laser, GE’s metal powder bed fusion manufacturer. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)

Of the machine’s scalability, Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive, said, “Irrespective of industry, every customer has its own specific needs and its own unique levels of complexity. We regularly hear that next-generation machines need to be customizable and configurable. The new meter-class machine we’re debuting at formnext is our response to that feedback—a solution that is scalable and customizable and meets the needs of our industry as it matures.”

A.T.L.A.S. is targeted at the aerospace, automotive, space and oil and gas industries in which large complex metal parts are required. The company has said that a small group of customers are evaluating the first few beta machines, but that more will be made available for delivery in 2018.

As the first product released since the formation of GE Additive, A.T.L.A.S. will demonstrate just what the manufacturing giant is capable of as a 3D printer manufacturer. We’ll also have a better sense of just how the company plans to tackle the 3D printing space.

Visit GE Additive to learn more or read ENGINEERING.com’s interview with GE Additive’s Greg Morris.


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