A couple months ago, we reported on MFG Day and the hold that 3D printing technology seems to have taken on the imaginations of many.
Similarly, the days following the Thanksgiving holiday in the US seem to have captured the attention of the mainstream media, mostly for a series of holiday-shopping-related “special” days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday.
For those of us who are a bit more technically oriented, General Electric, one of the world’s largest proponents of 3D printing, is now swinging the focus back to additive manufacturing technology with the first ever “3D on D3” (as in December 3rd, which happens to be today) special event on its Edison’s Desk research blog (see the screen capture above; credit: GE Research).
One way GE Research is celebrating is by giving away 3D printed holiday gifts designed by celebrities, web tech gurus, and athletes working in conjunction with its own engineers. Check out the available gifts, and learn how to try to get one using Twitter, here.
Working in conjunction with GrabCAD, the company also held a contest for a 3D, modernized redesign of Santa’s sleigh. Finalists were selected by GE engineers out of more than 50 entries. The video shows the judges discussing the merits of finalist designs and their reasons for selecting the winner. GE will be producing and giving away 200 Christmas tree ornaments based on the winning design. Once again, you’ll need to take to Twitter to try to get one.
3D on D3 may be all in fun and the spirit of the Holiday season, but GE is deadly serious about its commitment to additive manufacturing technology—by 2020, the company’s Aviation division expects to have produced more than 100,000 additive manufactured components for its latest aircraft engines. GE is also using 3D printing to produce medical device components and other parts. In this interview with additivemanufacturing.com, for example, Greg Morris explains the business decisions that led GE to commit to additive manufacturing in the new LEAP-1A engine. Morris is business development leader for additive manufacturing at GE Aviation, a position he took when he sold the company he founded, Morris Technologies, to GE in 2012. The company specialized in additive manufacturing.
By the way, we just got word that Morris will be speaking at the Ceramic Leadership Summit in April, focusing on innovation and business decisions that drive innovation and adoption of new manufacturing technologies. For a full lineup of the incredible CLS program, visit the website.
The National Science Foundation also has 3D on their minds today and published this online article about advances in additive manufacturing that trace back to NSF research projects.