GE’s Announces 3D Printing Design Quest Winners
Kyle Maxey posted on December 12, 2013 |

3d printer, bracket, GE, contest, competition, engine, jet, contest, indonesiaGE has announced the winners of its 3D Printing Design Quest that asked engineers and CAD techs the world ‘round to redesign a jet engine loading bracket.

As part of the challenge, designers were asked to create a bracket that could withstand any forces it might encounter while one of GE’s 12,500 lb engines was hanging by the metal component and receiving maintenance.

After GE collected all of the submitted designs the field was whittled down to 10 finalists, each of whom received a $1,000 prize. These 10 final models were then printed in a titanium alloy using a DMLS machine and shipped to Niskayuna, NY for destruction testing. During destruction tests GE’s engineers used a servo-hydraulic testing machine to expose the brackets to axial loads between 8,000 and 9,500 lbs.

After all was said and done M. Arie Kurniawan of Salatiga, Indonesia, won first prize and will claim the $7,000 purse for creating the challenge’s top design.

According to GE, “Kurniawan’s bracket had the best combination of stiffness and light weight. The original bracket weighed 2,033 grams (4.48 pounds), but Kurniawan was able to slash its weight by nearly 84 percent to just 327 grams (0.72 pounds).”

Inspired by an H-beam’s ability to handle both vertical and horizontal loads, Kurniawan says he believes 3D printing has a bright future and that predicts that it will “be available for everyone in the very near future.” Given that he and his brother own a small engineering and design firm, Kurniawan wants “to be familiar with additive manufacturing as soon as possible.”

Although M. Arie Kurniawan took first prize, seven other entrants also received cash prizes, including 2nd place’s Thomas Johansson of Sweden and 3rd place’s Sebastien Vavssori of the UK. The second and third prize winners will take home $5,000 and $3,000 respectively.

There’s been no word as of yet on whether GE will use Kurniawan’s design as inspiration for future brackets. Whatever the company decides, however, fostering a close relationship with a large design community can only help the manufacturing giant grow and innovate even more quickly.

Image Courtesy of GE

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