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GE Additive takes Formnext by a Storm – Unveils New 3D Printers, Materials, & Software Updates

metal 3D printer
Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology
Above: GE Additive opened a new Centre of Excellence in Sweden/Image Credit: GE Additive

GE Additive, the additive manufacturing arm of GE, has taken the Formnext 2019 exhibition by a storm by announcing new developments and inventions in the entire 3D printing ecosystem. It has announced two new metal 3D printers, a powder recovery system, and new materials for EBM technology and software updates to strengthen its position in the metal additive manufacturing industry.

We take a look at these new developments at GE Additive.

GE Additive Unveils Arcam EBM Spectra L Metal 3D Printer

metal 3D printer
Above: GE Additive’s Arcam EBM SpectraTM L metal 3D printer is well-suited for large titanium applications/Image Credit: GE Additive

GE Additive unveiled the Arcam EBM SpectraTM L metal 3D printer at the formnext 2019 exhibition. The Spectra L meets increased demand, especially from the aerospace industry for higher productivity and offers customers a larger build volume, faster speed, married with an integrated system architecture, new machine health analytics and automation features. 

The newest addition to the Arcam EBM Spectra family is available for order now with delivery expected at the end of Q1 2020. Spectra L supports grade 5 Ti6Al4V, grade 23 Ti6Al4V and is well-suited for large titanium applications that cannot be achieved with a laser.   

The Arcam EBM Spectra L metal 3D printer will be manufactured at the GE Additive Arcam EBM facility in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Arcam EBM SpectraTM L metal 3D printer increases productivity reduces cost per part by 10% (20% increase in build speed, 13% increase in build volume), improve material properties and enhances and improves power handling, beam diagnostics and calibration, as well as automation.

GE Additive Launches Arcam PRS 30 Powder Recovery Station

metal 3D printer
Above: GE Additive’s Arcam PRS 30 Powder Recovery Station/Image Credit: GE Additive

GE Additive also unveiled the Arcam PRS 30 – a new, automated powder recovery station to create a closed system to contain powder exposure for operators working in industrial additive manufacturing environments.  

The Arcam PRS 30 Powder Recovery Station is available for order now, with first deliveries expected in Q2 2020. The Arcam PRS 30 increases automation, simplifies cleaning and improves human-machine interface (HMI) with improved visibility, work light and larger window.

The Arcam PRS 30 will be manufactured at the GE Additive Arcam EBM facility in Gothenburg, Sweden.

GE Additive Arcam EBM Launches D-material support for Pure Copper and Highly Alloyed Tool Steel

metal 3D printer
Above: GE Additive Arcam EBM launches D-material support for Pure Copper and Highly Alloyed Tool Steel/Image Credit: GE Additive

In addition to the Arcam solutions, GE Additive announced the general release of development material (D-material) support for pure copper and highly-alloyed tool steel during 2020.

Offering new materials builds on the many of the commonly known technology benefits of electron beam melting (EBM), such as high productivity and deep materials experience with crack prone alloys, but also some of the lesser-known benefits including; the technology’s clean build environment, low oxidation, and low reflectivity.

GE Additive Unveils new Concept Laser M2 Series 5

metal 3D printer
Above: GE Additive’s Concept Laser M2 Series 5/Image Credit: GE Additive

Expanding its range of Concept Laser M2 Series, GE Additive unveiled the Concept Laser M2 Series 5 at the exhibition. This latest iteration of the popular M2 machine meets the high expectations for part quality and consistency from customers, especially in the highly-regulated aerospace and medical industries, as they move to serial additive production. 

The Concept Laser M2 Series 5 is available for order now, with delivery expected in Q1 2020.

Key new features and benefits include

  • Improved part quality with reduced surface roughness and better stitching
  • More consistency across the whole build plate, accommodating several build jobs and machine-to-machine
  • New optical cooling, featuring 10+ internal sensors and a More tightly controlled build environment.
  • 2x increased build speed and laser on time.
  • Larger build volume thanks to increased surface area and z-axis travel. Build volume: 350mm z-axis for taller parts 245 mm x 245 mm heated build area
  • Upgraded software and system design
  • Unique safety system, incorporating a glovebox system for non-contact handling of reactive materials, better filter change, and inerted sieving and powder exchange.

Speaking to reporters at the Formnext exhibition Chris Schuppe, general manager – engineering, GE Additive said, “As our customers evolve and start to ramp up high volume production, we will also continue to evolve our machine portfolio to meet their needs for repeatability, usability, and quality.”

He added, “Over the past year, teams from GE Additive have worked closely with colleagues at GE Aviation – which operates a fleet of M2s – to get direct feedback. Co-located teams collaborated on the critical characteristics needed for the next iteration of the M2 and to make a good part, but also on input on the mechanical operations, performance, and productivity of the machine, and on improvements in reliability and quality.”

GE Additive Releases Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer

metal 3D printer
Above: GE Additive’s Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer/Image Credit: GE Additive

Lastly, GE Additive also announced the launch of Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer – a new suite of machine health data analytics – and will first be released from December 2019 to Arcam EBM Q10 and Q10plus customers and then from Q1 2020 to Arcam EBM Q20 and Arcam EBM Q20plus customers and then to Arcam EBM Spectra customers through Q2 and Q3 2020.

Developed by Arcam’s software team in Sweden, with a team from GE Global Research Center in India, data is collected during the printing process from in-situ machine sensors, then analyzed using intelligent algorithms to provide users with a holistic view of process and machine health. The software can run on both the machine itself or on a user’s laptop.

Speaking at the launch, Karl Lindblom, General Manager, Arcam EBM said, “Being able to access and then make decisions based on real-time data analysis is another way we put our users in control of their systems. Whether they operate a single machine or entire fleets of our systems, the ability able to receive, interpret and use data smartly can save both time and cost.”

Formnext is a destination for the additive manufacturing companies of the world and it is the aptest time to announce such new developments. GE Additive has utilized this exhibition to its fullest with a view to solidifying its lead in the metal additive manufacturing industry.


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