[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]GE Additive’s Vice President, General Manager, Mohammad Ehteshami lowered the curtain on the first piece of GE Additive branded machinery to the gathered crowds at formnext powered by tct.
Behind the curtain was a machine developed by teams at GE Additive and Concept Laser, a project called A.T.L.A.S ( Additive Technology Large Area System). The new metal 3D printing machine is a Beta technology which GE Additive say is scalable to whatever the customer’s needs.
The beta machine on the show floor has a build volume of 1.1 x 1.1 x 0.3 m, which compared to Concept Laser’s biggest machine, the X LINE 2000R, is over twice the size in the y-direction. Chris Panczyk, project leader, GE Additive says that z-xis of 0.3 m is scalable to beyond 1 m, the customers will have the ability to configure the machine.
“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,” said Mohammad Ehteshami Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive in the press release that accompanied the launch.
Incredibly this BETA machine was developed in just 177 days, largely thanks to the money GE Additive has pumped into R&D, some $200m according to Ehteshami. Esteemed industry consultant Dave Burns tells me that is more than the entire industry was investing in R&D five years ago.
At the launch, Frank Herzog, founder, and CEO of Concept Laser – one of the companies along with Arcam purchased by GE for over $1bn last year – hailed the collaboration between teams in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Lichtenfels, Germany as the reason why this project has come to fruition.
Frank was beaming with pride and said that this kind of project is precisely the reason Concept was so keen to team up with GE Additive. Frank first came to Messe Frankfurt armed with a metals machine in 2000 and the growth in this 17 year period has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Since the GE acquisition, Concept Laser has grown from 200 – 400 employees, tripled its machine output and is about to break ground on a new Lichtenfels facility to house more than 700 people. Startingly, Frank said that for every machine delivered to GE a further three are delivered to the market.
This all points to GE Additive being on track to fulfill Mohammad Ehteshami’s formnext 2016 promise to deliver 10,000 machines in the next ten years.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]