GE Launches New 3D Printing Lab


This week, GE Healthcare announced a new 3D printing lab that the company hopes will not only speed up innovation but simplify traditionally complex manufacturing processes. The new Innovative Design and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center is based out of Sweden and is the company's first 3D printing and design center in Europe.

The lab will actually include much more than 3D printing technology as the company tries to tap advanced manufacturing techniques to speed time-to-market for new healthcare products. The move plays a significant role in the GE’s attempt to grow its additive business to $1 billion in the next three years (by 2020).

Collaborative robots (cobots), as well as traditional machining equipment, will also be found at the tech center. The additive manufacturing technologies will include both metal and polymer 3D printing capabilities.

The move is another indication of just how important it is to consider advanced manufacturing techniques early in the design process.

For new practices to one day overcome traditional methods, R&D teams need to work with advanced manufacturing engineers in collaboration with customers as soon in the development phase as possible. The new center will make sure that experts in additive manufacturing are available from the start of product design. According to the company, teams at the center will design, test, and produce 3D-printed parts for GE Healthcare products and prepare them for final transfer to manufacturing.

The center in Sweden joins GE Healthcare’s sister site in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The teams will collaborate, share knowledge, and work together on new design ideas.

GE Healthcare is one of six GE businesses using additive applications today. The company plans to sell 10,000 GE Additive machines over the next ten years.

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