GE Additive unveils new metal 3D printing systems at Formnext

GE Additive has launched the Arcam EBM Spectra L and the Concept Laser M2 Series 5 metal additive manufacturing platforms on day one of Formnext

Both platforms have been designed and developed to meet the growing need of GE’s industrial partners and are being showcased on the company’s Formnext booth (11.0, D31). The EBM Spectra L is available immediately, while delivery of the M2 Series 5 is expected in Q1 of 2020. 

Spectra L is said to boast increased productivity thanks to a build volume double the size of the EBM Spectra H and 13% bigger than the Q20plus. The latest addition to the EMB portfolio also features a 4.5kW beam power which increases build speed by 20% when compared to the Q20plus. It can support grade 5 Ti6AI4V and grade 23 Ti6AI4V, while pure copper is planned for next year. 

The new EBM platform is compatible with the Arcam EBM PRS 30, an automated powder retrieval system also launched at Formnext which enables safe and efficient powder handling, and features a standardised Internet of Things interface and advanced data analytic capabilities. 

“The Spectra L is perfectly suited to those customers on the brink of, or those who have already begun to industrialise additive into their business,” commented Karl Lindblom, General Manager, GE Additive Arcam EBM. “When we were developing the system, feedback, in particular from our aerospace industry customers, centred on reliability, repeatability and automation, but increasingly – as they begin to scale their fleets of additive machines – also need process and machine health analytics and an integrated system architecture.”

GE Additive’s latest Concept Laser innovation, meanwhile, has been developed in collaboration with the GE Aviation business and passed through a rigorous testing period. The machine promises reduced surface roughness on parts, greater consistency from build to build and machine to machine, and an upgraded gas flow system and new optical cooling featuring more than ten internal sensors. 

It is said to demonstrate faster build speeds, thanks in part to its dual laser system with up to 100% coverage per laser, and a build volume of 350 mm x 245 mm x 245 mm. 

“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,” said Chris Schuppe, General Manager, Engineering, GE Additive. “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 has also announced the introduction of its Arcam EBM Build Performance Analyzer, a suite of machine health data analytics which is to be rolled out across the EBM portfolio of machines throughout the next year. From next month, EBM Q10 and Q10plus users will have access, with EBM Q20 and Q20plus customers joining them in Q1 of 2020, and by Q3 EBM Spectra users will also be able to integrate the Build Performance Analyzer. 

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