Protolabs to install GE Additive Concept Laser X Line 2000R metal 3D printer

Protolabs is to install the GE Additive Concept Laser X Line 2000R machine later this year as it expands its metal additive manufacturing capacity.

The service provider serves a host of vertical markets with its polymer and metal 3D printing equipment, boasting a range of processes including stereolithography, PolyJet, polymer powder bed fusion and Direct Metal Laser Sintering technologies. By integrating the X Line 2000R system this summer, Protolabs is set to enable its client base to harness additive manufacturing to produce large metal components.

GE Additive’s Concept Laser X Line 2000R platform boasts a build volume of 800 x 400 x 500 mm, with two build modules allowing a build to be prepared while another takes place, and dual 1000W lasers. Protolabs will use the system to produce components in Inconel 718 to ‘better serve its rapidly expanding number of aerospace customers.’

“Our customers, especially in the aerospace industry, have told us they need the ability to create larger parts with complex geometries,” commented Vicki Holt, President and CEO at Protolabs. “Through our partnership with GE Additive, we are responding by scaling up use of its cutting-edge equipment to further our customers’ metal production needs.”

In addition to the X Line 2000R, Protolabs has also acquired four more GE Additive Concept Laser M2 systems, bringing its total of Direct Metal Laser Sintering/ Melting machines to more than 30. A Solukon powder removal system and a new Ipsen vacuum heat-treat furnace will also be added to Protolabs’ facilities to supplement its additive manufacturing equipment in the production of AS9100 components.

“The pace of momentum at Protolabs continues to impress. I appreciate the continued investment and trust in our solutions – the X Line and M2 machines are very well-suited to exacting needs of the aerospace industry,” added Jason Oliver, Vice President and CEO of GE Additive. “I also the value the close working relationship with Vicki and her team, which is built on similar beliefs and a shared version for industrial scale additive manufacturing.”

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