GE rolls out global 3D printing challenges
By Digital News Asia June 27, 2013
- Public additive manufacturing design and production quests for jet engine and healthcare components
- Open engineering quests asks maker community to push the boundaries of what is 3D printable
GENERAL Electric is inviting entrepreneurs, companies and institutions around the world and in Malaysia to offer their solutions to two global additive manufacturing quests: A 3D Printing Design Quest for technologies used in healthcare, and a 3D Printing Production Quest for an aircraft engine bracket.
These quests are in line with the Government’s aim to promote innovation in Malaysia, and seek to inspire Malaysians to think outside the box and consider innovative methods of hardware, material and process advancements to create new additive manufacturing solutions for technologies used in healthcare as well as aviation, GE said in a statement.
“GE is committed to leading the next manufacturing revolution through innovative hardware, material and process advancements,” said Mark Little, senior vice president and chief technology officer at GE Global Research Centre.
“This revolution depends on collaboration with external innovators and partners. These ‘Quests’ will help us to convene and engage this community in meaningful ways and ultimately build an additive manufacturing ecosystem that scales the industry to new heights,” he said.
Additive manufacturing is a key part of the advanced manufacturing revolution. GE said it has already reduced production times by up to 25% and achieved cost savings without sacrificing performance by putting additive technologies to work on an industrial scale.
Continued external collaboration with fabrication leaders will accelerate the application of these technologies to further increase the speed and quality of innovation, the company said in a statement.
The additive manufacturing quests, which leverage GE’s prior successful Flight and Hospital quests in a new space, have been launched with partners GrabCAD and NineSigma.
Both are open to the public. The first phase of both quests are already open and end July 26, 2013.
3D Printing Design Quest
- The design quest tasks participants to create the best 3D-printable design for an aircraft engine bracket.
- The top 10 designs from the first phase will win US$1,000 each and will be additively manufactured and tested by GE during phase two.
- The top eight designs in the second phase will be awarded from a total prize pool of US$20,000.
- GE has partnered with GrabCAD to launch the design quest. During the quest, GrabCAD’s online community of more than 650,000 global engineers will have a chance to submit their CAD design solutions to a panel including some of GE’s brightest engineers.
3D Printing Production Quest
- This quest asks participants to use 3D printing technology to produce highly precise and complex parts with high precision. Such parts will have potential application in medical imaging and a broad spectrum of other GE businesses.
- An objective of this quest is to broaden GE’s supplier network of high-end 3D fabricators with sophisticated production capabilities.
- Up to 10 winners from the first phase will be awarded US$5,000 and invited to participate in the second phase, which includes prototype fabrication with specified materials. Up to three winning prototypes will be awarded US$50,000 each.
- GE has partnered with Nine Sigma to launch the production quest.
- This open innovation quest will be judged and tested by industry experts in fields of additive manufacturing and engineering.
Combining GE’s technology and scale with GrabCAD and NineSigma’s communities of innovators and open innovation platforms will inspire and facilitate the creative collaboration needed to generate new solutions to some of the toughest additive manufacturing challenges, GE said.
Creative makers and 3D printer fabricators across the globe and in Malaysia are invited to apply. Participants must submit at least one entry by July 26 to be eligible for phase two, and must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited.
“GE is always looking for new ways to bring great ideas to life … new approaches, including additive manufacturing and crowd-sourcing design concepts, are just a few of the ways we are accelerating our design process,” said Greg Morris, Strategy and Business Development for Additive Technologies at GE.
More information on the quests can be found at http://www.ge.com/OpenInnovation.
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